So I know this is the "Non-Sports Chatter" board, but I have an idea for basketball and wasn't sure where else I'd put it.
The scenario: When teams are in the "bonus", they currently get two free throws when fouled. If the 2nd FT is made, possession changes. If they are fouled while shooting and make the shot, they get an extra FT and then possession changes. If the shot is missed, they get a number of FT equal to the value of the shot being attempted.
(Note: If the last FT is missed, the defensive team gets the rebound 90%+ of the time, so I'm not bothering counting that possibility as the effect is minimal)
Assuming an average of 75% FT shooting, a bonus foul makes the possession worth 1.5 points on average, more than the average possession which is worth about 1 point. If fouled while making the shot, they get an obvious advantage of an extra .75 points.
1.) The "Hack-a-Shaq" scenaior in which a given player's inability to shoot free throws makes him a liability, allowing the defense to easily dictate the offense's opportunities (without requiring skill to do so) and to do so in a way which lowers the average value of the offensive team's possession.
2.) It artificially caps the possible points for the possession at 2 except in the rare event in which the guy is attempting a 3 pointer. Particularly at the very end of games, a team with a lead can protect it's lead by purposefully fouling and essentially negating the the possibility of a 3 point play.
3.) Similarly, a team trying to come from behind can purposefully foul, stopping the clock and getting them the ball, trading what is likely a few extra points for a number of extra possessions in which they can score and have a greater chance of coming back.
All of these scenarios have one common problem: Breaking the rules should not provide the fouling team an advantage. Combine #1 and #3 and you have a real problem where a player who is very good at the core of the sport becomes a detriment to his team. It would be like allowing a team in baseball to trade an inning for a HR derby; which would clearly be unfair against a team built around pitching, defense and small ball.
My proposal: If a player is fouled while in the bonus or fouled while attempting a shot that he misses, he gets one free throw and his team retains possession of the ball.
The average "foul" possession now because worth more -- 1.75 points, creating a stronger disincentive to foul. It also takes away the circumstances at the end of the game in which fouling is advantageous.
Not only is this more fair because it prevents teams from abusing a supposed penalty to gain an advantage, but it would also improve the game aesthetically by basically eliminating the horribly painful sequence at the end of many basketball games where the last 3 minutes take 30 minutes of real time due to all the fouls.
What do you guys think? Could I be on to something?