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View Full Version : Fouling late in tie games?



jetsfan28
01-03-2013, 01:33 PM
I was watching the Mavericks-Heat game and had a thought before the last possession of regulation. The Heat had the ball with more than 3.9 seconds left and the game tied. For this thread, I'm going to be making a whole bunch of assumptions, but I'll try to keep them fairly conservative.

Assume LeBron could make a buzzer beater in that situation 30% of the time. Also, assume the Heat, who are better than the Mavericks, will win in overtime 70% of the time if LeBron doesn't make the shot. Based on those percentages, if the Mavericks don't foul LeBron, the Heat will win 79% of the time (30+(70*.7)), while the Mavericks will win 21% of the time.

Now, let's say the Mavericks foul, giving them the ball in the front court with about 3.4 seconds left. I'd say it's not unrealistic to say that the Mavericks, who have three very good 3 point shooters and two other guys who could hit three pointers, have a 20% chance of winning the game with a 3, a 1% chance of winning the game with a 2 (if LeBron misses a free throw), and a 5% chance of forcing the game into overtime with a 2 (at which point the Heat would win 70% of the time, as above). This would give the Mavericks a 22.5% chance of winning, greater than if they don't foul, while having the added benefit of usually avoiding overtime and thus helping them win future games.



Now, obviously I made these percentages up off the top of my head. But plug in your own numbers and check, it still could work out better for the team to foul. Do you think it's a viable strategy for inferior teams to foul late in a tie game?

29$JerZ
01-03-2013, 01:37 PM
The only time its smart to foul in the last seconds is when the fouling team is up 3 and the opposition has no timeouts to bring the ball up. I always trust good defense before fouling except for that scenario.

jetsfan28
01-03-2013, 01:38 PM
The only time its smart to foul in the last seconds is when the fouling team is up 3 and the opposition has no timeouts to bring the ball up. I always trust good defense before fouling except for that scenario.

My post doesn't really go against "trusting the defense," I said LeBron only had a 30% chance of hitting a game winner, that's pretty good defense. However, if you're an inferior team, even trusting your defense will probably lead you to a loss, just in overtime instead of regulation.

D-Leethal
01-03-2013, 01:51 PM
When you play a team dead even after 48 minutes I have a hard time giving Heat 70% chance to win in OT, although I see your point. Its hard to really pull that # out of thin air. I understand if say, Heat made OT during the Wiz game where the Wiz won, than it would be a huge longshot for Wiz to overcome with 5 more minutes, but 70% still seems high vs a Mavericks team with OJ, Dirk and battle tested vets like Carter, Brand, Caman.

dalton749
01-03-2013, 04:05 PM
he pooped and this is what came out..

king4day
01-03-2013, 04:31 PM
If I understand this correctly, you're asking if the weaker team should put the other team on the line, despite it being a tie game with hopes they make a 3 and win it.

I'd still say no. If you played well enough to have the game that close, I believe it is in your best interest to rely on your D and take it to OT.

Sactown
01-03-2013, 04:47 PM
I feel like it's the same as going for the 2pt conversation in football, if it works you're a genius and if it fails..... Well you'll be on espn for the next two weeks.

Other things to consider during this time are:
What if the other team is shooting 56% from the field while one of Lebron, Wade, or Chalmers is shooting 20% at the line. Seems like that would justify it, although if the other team hasn't shot the ball well against you, seems you'd have to trust your defense

JasonJohnHorn
01-03-2013, 04:50 PM
The only time its smart to foul in the last seconds is when the fouling team is up 3 and the opposition has no timeouts to bring the ball up. I always trust good defense before fouling except for that scenario.

This.


You gotta trust your players to make the stop. A coach who would rather his players foul the defend, especially in a tie game, clearly has no confidence in his team to defend. And no confidence that they can win in over time.


Best to D-up and see what you can do, rather than essentially giving the opposing team the lead with less than 4 seconds on the clock.

DallasTrilla23
01-03-2013, 05:06 PM
The mavs had no timeouts left so we would of had to shoot a half court shot if we fouled..

John Walls Era
01-03-2013, 05:11 PM
Crooner stats?

mvb815
01-03-2013, 05:55 PM
never, basketball comes down to percentages when it's all said and done, but it's on you to make those percentages during the heat of the moment