The newly constructed backcourt for the Atlanta Hawks of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray has the opportunity to exploit the new take foul rule update. The NBA released the communication that the take foul, which happens mainly in transition, will result in a free throw and the team retaining possession.
This is going to be fun to watch how the best players in the world look to exploit this rule. For those who don’t know, if a team gets out in transition and is in a really good position to score, opposing defenses will take a foul, stopping transition.
The NBA has previously attempted to address this issue with the clear path foul rule but that has not stopped the practice of fouling in transition. This new rule will have a much greater impact though. Giving up a free throw as well as possession means that a team could score up to five points, depending on further fouls. Teams are going to think twice before taking a foul now.
So, how will the Atlanta Hawks’ newly formed backcourt exploit the rule change?
Murray and Young present opposing defenses with a new set of problems now. Previously, they had to pressure Young and he would give the ball up to another player. This would usually have a negative impact on the Hawks’ offense.
Now the Hawks have another gifted playmaker in Murray, who is also a good rebounding guard. Now, the Hawks have not been a strong transition team, given that Young is usually having to come and collect the ball on the defensive rebound.
Now with Murray as an option to bring the ball up the court, Young had the ability to use his speed to stretch the opposing transition defense. In a footrace down the court, there are going to be few players who can beat him. Now that he no longer has to handle the ball up the court, he can speed up the transition game.
If the opposition tries to slow him down with a take foul then Young will punish them at the line before setting up in the halfcourt. However, if Young does not get the ball in transition, he will then be able to break for the wing. This will have the impact of drawing his defender away from the paint because you have to respect Young’s perimeter game.
Drawing the defender out of the paint will allow Murray or Clint Capela or even Jalen Johnson, all transition specialists to have more room to work in the paint. This will help push the Atlanta Hawks’ pace up and also increase their shooting percentage in transition.