Fouling at the End of Games

In N.B.A. Basketball by Brock Bourgase


The Lakers experienced an awkward play at the end of of Friday’s game against the Grizzlies. Memphis was up a single point with under twenty seconds remaining but Los Angeles elected not to foul immediately. Eventually, Kobe Bryant ran over and fouled Mike Conley. The Lakers eventually lost by three points.

Some areas for improvement:

  1. L.A. did not seem to discuss who they would foul if this situation arose. Conley was the best free throw shooter on the court and it might have been possible to trap him in order to steal (hopefully) or force him to give up the ball.
  2. The defense is very far back and is neither pressuring the ball nor guarding the other players on the floor tightly. The Lakers were not positioned to trap or give the foul if they wanted to.
  3. The team’s body language is terrible. Everyone can see outstretched arms and hear raised voices but it is not necessarily the most effective way to communicate.