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Warriors' Stephen Curry Says He's Unsure If NBA's New Foul Rules Will Impact His Game

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVOctober 5, 2021

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry expects an adjustment period after the NBA announced a new emphasis on "overt, abrupt or abnormal non-basketball moves by offensive players with the ball in an effort to draw fouls."

Curry told reporters Monday he doesn't know how the new rule will work in practice because players will have to feel out what is and isn't a foul. The two-time MVP also talked through a video the NBA used showing how he would be whistled for an offensive foul under the new guidance:

Anthony Slater @anthonyVslater

Steph Curry still isn't sure if he'll have to alter his game at all due to the NBA's new offensive foul hunting rules. He was used in an example recently by referees.<br><br>Here's the full Curry soundbite + play in question (:32-second mark) <a href="https://t.co/MJu3D2zstx">pic.twitter.com/MJu3D2zstx</a>

The league cited other sequences that would be officiated differently:

NBA Official @NBAOfficial

The non-basketball move highlighted in this segment shows a shooter launching or leaning into a defender at an abnormal angle. <a href="https://t.co/4bChPtIHWI">pic.twitter.com/4bChPtIHWI</a>

NBA Official @NBAOfficial

In this non-basketball move, the offensive player overtly extends a portion of his body into a defender. <a href="https://t.co/4vbW1wyRtr">pic.twitter.com/4vbW1wyRtr</a>

The Athletic's Shams Charania reported in July the NBA was looking to limit the way in which offensive players used "non-basketball moves" to draw fouls.

Milwaukee Bucks star Khris Middleton came out in favor of the shift, noting it's something he may have to address in his own game.

"I think it's good for the game of basketball to get more on the side of naturally moving, naturally trying to play basketball instead of just draw a foul on somebody, a cheap foul," he told reporters.

Monty McCutchen, the league's head of referee development and training, made the same point in explaining why this was something worth addressing.

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"We want there to be equal opportunities to compete with passion and skill," he said in a September media call. "And we want flow in the game, and we want the game of basketball to be played as the game of basketball—not individual 1-on-1-offs in an attempt to get the most efficiency."

Through the NBA already worked to legislate out the rip-through technique he utilized so well, James Harden is a prime example of how scorers don't need to attack the basket in order to get fouled.

Unlike with Harden, getting to the free-throw line hasn't been a big part of Curry's game. He's averaging 4.2 attempts per game for his career, and his personal-high of 6.3 per game in 2020-21 was likely attributable in part to Klay Thompson's absence.

Curry had the ball in his hands more than ever (a career-high 34.8 percent usage rate, per Basketball Reference), which coincided with him taking more shots per game (21.7) than he ever had.

The seven-time All-Star will likely encounter some moments in which he is called for a foul he would've avoided last season. But the new rules shouldn't force him to make any big changes.

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