This current Rockets team -- -- has always looked to gain every analytical advantage possible. They almost exclusively shoot at the rim or from 3-point range. They play a fast-paced, spread-it-out style and try to be the NBA's most efficient team on a nightly basis. They also have the art of drawing fouls locked down to a science. Their superstar, James Harden, is the maestro of this foul drawing offense and is frequently seen embellishing every piece of contact he connects with. Love it or hate it, Harden's great at getting to the foul line.
Multiple NBA executives however are squarely on the hate-it side when it comes to the Rockets' style of play. Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report released a column Thursday claiming that multiple NBA executives across the league are sick of the Rockets' foul-drawing style.
"...there will be consternation from certain corners of the league about how the Rockets have created an unfair advantage for themselves and are 'gaming the system,' as one rival general manager told Bleacher Report."
The Rockets style of play, and Harden's in particular, has drawn ire from fans for years. However, if the NBA or executives have had any issues with it they've publicly been quiet, or just wrote it off as a fad. With Harden a favorite to win this year's MVP however, and the Rockets just eliminated from a playoff run, it makes sense that executives would begin to grow tired of their style of play. The topic was brought up at the NBA Combine, but no official changes can be made until the NBA's annual meetings in July. This isn't soon enough for some executives.
That's not soon enough for one team. "The league has refused to take action," one of its executives said. "People have been making a point of this since January. The league is getting played."
Until any official changes are made, the Rockets will continue to exploit what they can to gain every advantage. Every team tries to exploit the rules to the best of their ability so this is nothing new. However, it will be interesting to see if the NBA actually takes a strong stance against this with rule changes or chooses to instead coach up their referees to call games differently.