Originally Posted by InfiniteBaskets
Completely agree there's a safe way to foul a player that's in the air from behind, but that way is not necessary the most high percentage play to make to stop that player from making the shot once he goes up.
Here's an example of a non-safe way to foul a player from behind.
Yet the penalty for that is the same as a clear path foul, had Westbrook just grabbed Wade when Wade was flipping the ball up in the air to LeBron.
Meanwhile we see players pulling this kind of act to "draw" clear path fouls.
I see where the league is coming from for clear path fouls, but imo foul from behind the player on a fastbreak should be a little harsher than just regular foul. Maybe for situations when a player is in the air and you don't even come close to blocking the ball as the defender (aka just pushing the offensive player) it should be automatic 2 points and the ball or something.
Well, I'm not entirely sure if I see your point. I don't have audio at the moment so maybe that's why. Was that LeBron clip not called a flagrant on Westbrook? I'm guessing it wasn't and that is your point. In that case, I think that issue has more to do with what I feel was a missed flagrant more than an issue with the rule itself. Westbrook's left arm actually made a good play, it's just his right came through in a spot it shouldn't, as players are very unstable when hit in the back while airborne.
Either way, if I had to choose between defensive players always fouling and grabbing players to easily prevent a breakaway and what would have been an automatic two points; and play being encouraged to continue and stressing it be up to the skill of the defense to make a play as opposed to the foul cop out, knowing breakaways can sometimes lead to tough fouls, I'd definitely take the latter.
Regarding punishment, as it stands, the penalty for both flagrant fouls and clear path fouls are steep enough to really discourage players from wanting to make either of those plays happen. There's no longer a lot of players in the league (if anyone) who feels it's worth "taking a flagrant" to send a message or because they deem the play to be worth the punishment.
Finally, Jason Kidd... I think that's a unique scenario. I personally don't feel he was thinking "I want to draw a clear path". Instead, he was making a play a lot of us have over time, where you create space by cutting off a speedy, trailing defender. Again, if I had to be real, I kind of feel like Jefferson was enough a part of that play for it to no longer be a clear path situation. That call wasn't as in spirit with the point of the rule as most other calls I've seen.