No one has commented on Harden’s latest moves.

The first involves dribbling with his right hand, while hooking an opponent’s arm with his left, then carrying the guy a couple of steps and launching a shot. It’s one of the worst abuses of the rules I’ve ever seen, but the call almost always goes his way.

The second one happens when he goes around a screen. If the defender tries to fight through the screen with his arm, the screener leans against it with his hip while Harden jumps against the arm and throw up a shot.

I was so happy to see Popovich adjust and have all his defenders lift their arms up as they went through screens in game 3, avoiding any of these ridiculous fouls. On the other side of the court, Patty Mills did the same “creative” move and drew a foul against Lou Williams, who was outraged that this horrific call finally went against the Rockets.

I think your point is a real stretch. I don’t think fans in general want to see more flopping and non-basketball tricks to get an edge.

There are already far too many games decided by controversial or outright bad calls by the refs — muddying the waters with moves that will be outlawed by next season. Remember the Kobe arm swing across an opponent’s outstretch arms, the jump shooter leg kick, or flailing your arms after a shot? A lot of those plays are now non-calls or offensive fouls.

It’s kind of like saying soccer is creative because of fake injuries. You weren’t by any chance a big fan of Bernie Madoff, were you? After all, he was exploiting a market inefficiency, too.

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Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at https://guttmanshapiro.com. Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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