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JJ Redick explains how the NBA rule changes affect everyone except Jimmy Butler


In an effort to eliminate unnecessary foul-baiting that has created lots of unnatural basketball movement by some of the best players in the league, the NBA decided to change what is considered a foul and what isn't. With this year's implementation, players like James Harden, Trae Young, and Steph Curry, among others, will have to adapt to the new criterion that is no longer awarding unnatural movement.

NBA cutting down on foul-baiting

Some of the non-basketball moves the NBA officials will cut down on this season include signature 3pt fouls by James Harden, when he throws his arms into people and scores half his points from the free-throw line, or likewise when Steph Curry decides to launch himself into defenders.

The new criterion was discussed by the freshly appointed ESPN analyst, JJ Redick, on his popular podcast, The Old Man and the Three. JJ talked about NBA officials overemphasizing these new no-calls and that several blatant fouls were missed the last couple of nights. Referees want to get their point across, and it is likely to change as the season progresses, and the players adjust to the new norm.

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JJ Reddick highlights Jimmy Butler as role model

However, one player that JJ highlighted as not affected by any of these changes is Jimmy Butler — "He's physical, obviously. I don't think he's trying to trick anyone."

Jimmy has always been a freakishly powerful and athletic player who leaves defenders with little choice as he wins ground and gets easy layups. Nothing unnatural about his basketball movements.

Jimmy is a little different, I don't think Jimmy's is trying to gain the system when he drives. He's trying to initiate contact, and he's so strong and big when he does that, you're sort of left with a decision, do I give up a lay up, or do I hack him?

JJ Redick via The Old Man and the Three

Cause he doesn't do anything illegal where he's dislodging you, but he's using his force to initiate contact, create that space…."I am shocked by the way; I watched the Heat game against the Magic in Miami a few nights ago, and Jimmy shoots 15 layups in a game. I don't know many wings that get to shoot 15 layups in a game.

JJ Redick via The Old Man and the Three

I am not worried about James Harden; he will adjust. We've seen his ability to penetrate the defenses and throw it down. However, it will be interesting to see how Steph Curry, Trae Young, and other smaller players impacted by the rule changes adapt. They are at an obvious disadvantage lacking the physical power to initiate contact and back their defenders down. Ultimately, this might result in significantly lower production in the long run.

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