Years ago

Subbing Off after Personal Fouls

I'm hoping someone can actually explain this strategy to me. It seems to be almost universal, and it has been around since Adam was playing ball, but it has me baffled.

I can understand pulling a player who's upset (and likely to commit more fouls) but otherwise the coach is effectively guessing at what he thinks the future holds, and I just don't get the logic.
Even if you had a crystal ball and could forsee that a player on 4 fouls will get 3 minutes more time before fouling again, is it really such an advantage to keep those 3 minutes till the end of the game?
And of course he can't forsee.

Jervis tonight was a "perfect" example of what I'm asking: He got two quick fouls early and was immediately sat down, but then never fouled again.

I recall one particular game, I think it was the 93 final, when Melbourne had a few players in big foul trouble early. Gaze kept on playing them, and none fouled out. Had he followed conventional strategy, it probably would have cost him the game.

Topic #36263 | Report this topic

Years ago

IMO it is just to make sure a player lasts

Reply #510036 | Report this post

Years ago

Sometimes taking a player off the CRT after a couple of quick fouls actually removes them from the refs radar, in other words, refs can and do focus even unwittingly on a player for what ever reason.

Reply #510038 | Report this post

Years ago

As can the other team.

Reply #510042 | Report this post

Years ago

Isaac has hit it on the head really. I see an opposing player get a couple of quick fouls early. I take note and at our next time out or break in play, Im telling my team to go at them to draw the third to remove a starter from playing large minutes and shorten their rotations.

Reply #510045 | Report this post

Years ago

Yeah it's stupid. I never get fouled out but very rarely I get 2 fouls in the first quarter and my coach takes me off. I'll end up with only 2 fouls at the end of the match it makes no sense to sub someone off unless they have 4 fouls.

Reply #510048 | Report this post

Years ago

If you get two fouls then it is your opponents duty to try to give you your third. The reason you don't receive anymore fouls after your sat is because you got sat. It does not allow you to become a focal point of attack nor does it allow a ref to subconsciously target you for continuing the same actions that got you the first two fouls. It also depends on when you get the fouls, how much time is left, what type of fouls, your reaction to the fouls and if your coach trusts you to make an adjustment and not get anymore. Most coaches don't trust younger players to make adjustments. To leave a player in at that point and they happen to get a third foul then the coach was an idiot for leaving them on. Then the player has to sit longer than they would if they just sat after two fouls.

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Wilson Sting  
Years ago

This is a good discussion topic. I've had the same thoughts as the OP in that you want your best team on the court as much as possible.

Perth vs Cairns last week was a good example, where Redhage only played 10 mins for his 5 fouls. If he had stayed on I'm sure he would have been more aware of his situation and played a little less aggressively. If opposition players keep attacking players that are in foul trouble the refs actually notice that and start calling offensive fouls instead.

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Years ago

It's not universal. Generally better coaches will let elite players play through foul trouble if they know they have half a basketball brain.

Reply #510060 | Report this post

Years ago

Great topic of debate.

It's about the player's mindset too: is player that has 2 fouls early in the first quarter may be more tentative defensively. Add to this the opposition potentially targeting such a player (defending drives, post ups etc) and it could hurt the team's defense.

For the wildcats, I'm sure Gleeson thinks they're deep enough to bench Jervis without losing on-court production. If Jervis didn't pick up another foul for the game then he would have been mentally switched on in fulfilling his role, and not worrying about his foul count.

If you have smart players, you play them regardless of their foul count, IMO, unless it coincides with a preferable time to rest them.

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Oh wise one  
Years ago

I heard a theory the other day of once you get your first foul you sub out
For example: in the first quarter you get a foul you sub out straight away, get a second foul in the second quarter you sub out and etc.
That way when you get to the fourth quarter you have two fouls to give instead of just one

Keeps with that trend of getting out of the line of sight of the refs and you can also inject the player back into the game in the same quarter if the player is desperately needed

I can see this working really well with some teams and then with others it could work well in some game

Reply #510126 | Report this post

Very Old  
Years ago

Best strategy for a player is to understand that once they get their second foul, they REALLY have to focus on changing their style (if necessary) to ensure not getting their third. That's the one that is the dangerous one.

Coaches usually "get" this concept, player often don't.

"facts" in my view

1) if you are an active player , at some time in the game you WILL just get unlucky, a bad call by a ref or just a "wrong place wrong time" situation, or a 75/25 that should have gone your way does not. Assume that will always happen at some time in the game.

2) if they already are on zero or 1 fouls , when the above happens its not a big deal. - privided they "learn" from it.

3) If they are already on 3 this gets them the 4th, and makes them a target. This can be a game changer.

4) if this is their 5th, then you have to hope that 1-4 were not just that player cruising through the game without taking any "avoidance" measures

4) if the player has just gotten a "lazy" or continued as business-as-usual and achieved 3 fouls then as a coach you know they are already a weak point in that game for you.

So - many coaches pull their players at the 2 foul count to get the players to tighten up and foucus on not getting that 3 rd foul.


Reply #510136 | Report this post

Years ago

Hmm, if the player commits an aggressive or sloppy foul, I can understand a coach sitting down for a minute or so. What I can't understand is coaches keeping them off, or pulling them for what is just bad luck.

I can also understand that the perceived "risk" of a player on 4 or even 3 fouls needs to be "managed" to the best of the coach's judgement. But benching a player on two fouls?

Reply #510155 | Report this post

Years ago

So a player picks up his/her second foul with 6 minutes left in the first quarter. The coach leaves the player on and gets a bad foul called on them like not even their fault with 2 minutes left in the 1st. How long does that payer have to sit now? Not all fouls are black and white. Some are just wrong place at the wrong time. Coaches have to evaluate the situation the defensive assignment, the offensive aggressiveness of the player among other things. Does he want to press or trap or play man to man. There has to be a sense of foresight and a quality decision made. Yes a player may be able to adjust and not foul but it doesn't protect him from bad calls and now his focus is not just on the game.

Reply #510301 | Report this post

Thunder Jam  
Years ago

And in the NBL let's face it a LOT of fouls aren't fouls also!

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