San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has slammed players that can’t make free throws as the real problem behind the Hack-a-Shaq issue in the NBA.
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Popovich used the tactic aggressively in the series with the Los Angeles Clippers, continuously sending center DeAndre Jordan to the line given his problematic free-throw action.
While it worked to his advantage at times, the Spurs coach has hit back at critics of the strategy, insisting that the blame should be with the player who struggles at the line and not the opposing team or coach.
“I feel really strongly that it’s a tactic that can be used. If someone can’t shoot free throws, that’s their problem,” Popovich said, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
“As I’ve said before, if we’re not allowed to do something to take advantage of a team’s weakness, a trade should be made before each game. ‘We won’t foul your guy, but you promise not to block any of our shots.’ Or, ‘We won’t foul your guy, and you allow us to shoot all uncontested shots.’”
Popovich conceded that it isn’t the best way to attract new fans and keep current fans happy, and he expects that the league will take action this off-season to solve the issue.
It remains to be seen what commissioner Adam Silver decides upon, particularly given that he has remained on the fence about the problem since it came back to prominence again.
With Dwight Howard and Jordan the most targeted stars in the league still playing in the playoffs, with the Rockets and Clippers in fact facing each other in the Western Conference semifinals, we could see more of it before the year is out.