NBA refs will have to keep a closer eye on shooters next season. The NBA officially announced that referees will now be able to call either a flagrant or technical foul on defenders who dangerously close on jump shooters without allowing them space to land. The rule is being set in place to limit injuries like the play below in which Kawhi Leonard was hurt in the Western Conference Finals last season.
Officials will now also have to ensure jump shooters are in their upward shooting motion when determining if a perimeter foul is worthy of free throws, which will presumably cut down on free throw attempts for players like James Harden who attempt to swing their arms after contact.
The NBA made the freedom to land a point of emphasis for officials a few seasons ago, because of the high number of injuries on close outs. NBA senior vice president of replay and referee operations Joe Bergia said that the play with Zaza Pachulia would have called a flagrant foul.
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