Crazy Stat Shows How James Harden Trumps Teams in Drawing Fouls

Published 09/01/2021, 12:30 AM EDT
Jun 1, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets shooting guard James Harden (13) reacts after a basket against the Boston Celtics during the second quarter of game five of the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports


The NBA game has gone through many transitions in recent years. Notably, foul calls have become prominent as ever. The frequency at the free-throw line has been going up at a high rate year after year. One of the best to draw fouls is Nets’ James Harden.

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For a basketball fan, it is no surprise to know that Harden knows how to draw fouls. Likewise, he would receive mixed reactions when continuously going to the free-throw line. But, just how much did he go to the line? This stat will leave you shocked.

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James Harden dominates Teams

With free throws becoming a common sight, teams have been racking up their numbers from the spot. However, it is really difficult to get a foul call from the three-point line. Well, not unless you are James Harden. The prolific scorer ranks over all other teams except Houston in 3 point shooting fouls.

Since entering the league, Harden has drawn 521 3 point shooting fouls. Likewise, playing the majority of his career in Houston, they rank over him in such fouls. However, it is the gap between him and the other teams that is really shocking. The team that ranks behind the ‘Beard’ is the Lakers.

They have drawn a total of 439 3 point shooting fouls since 2009. Hence, Harden has almost 80 more drawn fouls than the next best team to do so. While it is natural for a scorer of his magnitude to draw many fouls, to top an entire organization is unheard of.

May 12, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) is guarded by San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray (5) in the second quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier, it was rare to see players get to the line, and now, it has now become a craft. But, with NBA’s new rule changes, unnecessary calls will be eliminated going forward. So what is the new rule?

What is the New Rule change?

With the start of the next season, NBA is set to introduce a non-basketball move rule change into the game. This will be done with the purpose to eliminate fouls that are drawn by unnatural means by players. So, how will the referees call such fouls?

With this rule change, officials will go through training to identify non-basketball moves. Notably, drawing contact with a defender through unreasonable means, like launching into defenders. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, if deemed marginal, it shall result in a no call.

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Apr 5, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) dribbles the ball against the New York Knicks during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

However, if deemed more than marginal by the referees, it will be called an offensive foul. This rule will now limit free throws for players such as Trae Young and James Harden. Moreover, it will lead to a more pure and clean game of basketball.

What do you think about this recent rule change, do you think it will work? Let us know your views in the comments below.

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Anuj Talwalkar

298 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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