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Shane's Face Guarding

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by DarkHorse, May 6, 2009.

  1. DarkHorse

    DarkHorse Contributing Member

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    I know this discussion has happened before, but I wanted to take a chance to put the whole thing to rest before it even starts again. Lakers fans have been all up in a twist again about the Shane's (stellar) defense on Kobe, since he employs the "keep a hand in his face" method.

    The argument went global last year after the Rockets beat the Lakers on March 16, 2008 to stretch their winning streak to 22 games and capture 1st place in the Western Conference. The next day, Charlie Rosen published an article about how face-guarding was illegal. His comment: "Relentlessly hounded by Battier, Kobe was 11-for-33 — although it must be noted that Battier face-guarded Bryant on virtually every jumper. The last time I looked at the rule book, face-guarding was illegal."

    Here's the original ClutchFans thread on the subject: http://bbs.clutchfans.net/showthread.php?t=145116

    Anyway, the ammo that everyone seems to be using these days to "prove" that face-guarding is illegal can be found here: http://community.foxsports.com/blog...ortscaster_Player_Blogger_and_Fan_Should_Know

    You can read it all if you want to, but the short version of the article is that he says that high school, college, and FIBA rules all explicitly forbid face guarding as unsportsmanlike, resulting in a technical foul. (for what it's worth, I checked and he is correct)

    However, he then goes on to say that in the NBA, face guarding is a gray area and that people are only getting away with it because it's not explicitly mentioned in the rule book. So I decided to spend 5 minutes on Google, and I found that, of course, the rule is explicitly mentioned in the NBA technical foul section just like it is in the other rule books.

    Here's the rule:
    Rule 12A, Section V, Article m - Face (Eye) Guarding (placing a hand in front of the opponent’s eyes when guarding from the rear) a player who does not have possession of the ball is illegal and an unsportsmanlike technical shall be assessed.


    This tells us three things:
    1. The NBA interprets face guarding only as putting a hand in opponent's face from behind. (which also makes me wonder if high school/college/FIBA interprets the rule the same way)
    2. Face guarding is only illegal in the NBA if you're face guarding a player without the ball.
    3. Of course, the defense that Battier is playing is perfectly legal.


    Obviously, keeping a hand in your man's face is quintessential good defense, but I just wanted to get into the actual rule, because there are a lot of sour grapes about this in LA LA Land.
     
    #1 DarkHorse, May 6, 2009
    Last edited: May 6, 2009
    17 people like this.
  2. DaDakota

    DaDakota If you want to know, just ask!

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    Good thread, Shamrock for you......Let the whiners whine.....just give them some cheese.

    This is what a good thread is all about and deserving of some reputation points.....

    DD
     
  3. Rocketeer

    Rocketeer Contributing Member

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    The rule states it's illegal when the defender is face guarding from the REAR, not faced up. Furthermore, it says " a player who does not have possession of the ball" is illegal. Neither of these two apply to when Shane does it. I just find it silly that some oppossing fans think this is illegal. Ever heard of "put a hand in his face?"
     
  4. Hippieloser

    Hippieloser Contributing Member

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    I'm shocked that Laker fans don't have a great grasp of the game of basketball.
     
  5. jsmee2000

    jsmee2000 Contributing Member

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    Great summary and research!
     
  6. D-Lite

    D-Lite Contributing Member

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    yea I could see how face guarding is illegal off the ball. But Shane Battier does not do that.

    You should present that on the Lakers board and see what they say.
     
  7. Justified

    Justified Member

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    From the rule:
    Rule 12A, Section V, Article m - Face (Eye) Guarding (placing a hand in front of the opponent’s eyes when guarding from the rear) a player who does not have possession of the ball is illegal and an unsportsmanlike technical shall be assessed.
    I think maybe it's legal for Shane to put his hand on Kobe's face because Kobe getsthe ball in his hand, rite?
     
  8. Dr of Dunk

    Dr of Dunk Clutch Crew

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    Yes, I think that's what this whole thread is about... ;)
     
  9. Dr of Dunk

    Dr of Dunk Clutch Crew

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    FYI : this topic was posted in another thread, but the reasoning for not allowing faceguarding is possibly to protect players' eyes from being poked. Apparently poking them when they have the ball is quite ok.
     
  10. Hims21

    Hims21 Member

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    I believe its only illegal if you put a hand in a players face when he's driving.
     
  11. min

    min Member

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    is face guarding really that effective?

    i'd rather he go for the straight-up block sometimes
     
  12. Justified

    Justified Member

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    So Charlie Rosen just had said that out of context. And they call him an expert?
     
  13. Docsdock

    Docsdock Member

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    Ask Kobe Bryant.
     
  14. BlameTracy

    BlameTracy Member

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    Great thread, thanks for researching this. I'd throw you some rep if I could. Any defensive tactic that slows Kobe down is regarded as "unfair" in the eyes of Laker fans, namely face guarding and zone defense. If it were up to them, players would be required to clear a path to the lane and let Bryant put on a 48 minute dunk clinic. :rolleyes:
     
  15. KDavis

    KDavis Contributing Member

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    I went to game 22 last year, During shoot around Kobe had Ronny Turiaf defend him via face guarding while he was shooting jumpers.

    He knows its not illegal and tries to prepare for it but no one executes it like battier.

    I love the fact that Hayes and Scola have adopted it into there game compensating for their lack of shot blocking ability.
     
    2 people like this.
  16. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

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    the rosen article was discussed here.
     
  17. Nero

    Nero Member

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    Besides that, it's extremely dangerous, as you might get in a wreck.
     
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  18. mic

    mic Contributing Member

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    Lakers fans will whine about not getting their way 100% of the time, even if they have no grounds. No surprise here.

    Shane is an excellent defender. He plays clean. The same can't really be said of a good hunk of the Fakers.
     
  19. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    I noticed in the Celtics Bulls series that players from both teams used it frequently. If face guarding is illegal then its enforced about as much jay walking is.

    You know what I know is illegal? Hitting a player with your elbows and knees. Until I hear a Lakers' fan bring that up I don't think they should be complaining about Shane Battier's D on Kobe.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. LAYGO

    LAYGO Contributing Member

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    99% of the time you can NOT block a jump shooter's shot . . . much less Kobe's shot. He uses movement to keep you off balance and as soon as he's got you off kilter is when he raises up. Since you're off balance and out of position, it's impossible to block.

    I love the fact that Shane gets his hand there, but you still see that it's not always effective on all the shots for the same reasons listed above. TNT had a slo-mo replay of Shane getting his hand in there, but Kobe had already measured the shot & the hand in his face wasn't going to alter it. If he's there early enough though . . .
     
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