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What is the Reggie Miller Rule and How Could It Effect the New York Knicks?

December 15th, 2012 at 8:00 AM
By Matt Agne

Nearly every year the Competition Committee gets together in the off-season and discusses if there's something that needs to be changed or implemented in order to improve competition. These rules effect all teams, including the New York Knicks. This season the NBA has expanded the use of replay, made officials more aware of the "Respect for the Game rule", implemented the "Flopping rule" and emphasized the "Reggie Miller rule". It's this last rule we'll now discuss so that it's understood and so fans can know how it could effect the New York Knicks moving forward.

'IMG_4981' photo (c) 2006, J R - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

First of all, why has any rule been named after Reggie Miller in the first place? Well, anyone who watched any of the great games between the New York Knicks and the Indiana Pacers during the Reggie Miller days knows how he use to draw fouls without having his jump shot effected at all. Surely if he didn't get those calls his points total would have been a lot lower.

Basically, the jump shooter goes up and releases the ball as the defender comes out to challenge the shot. Then the shooter kicks his legs out in order to initiate contact just as the defender arrives. Usually the offensive player makes contact with the defender and goes down like he were assaulted. It’s a manner of drawing a foul and potentially making it an and-one situation. At the very least, if they don't make the shot they usually get put on the free throw line.

Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe reports some of the things officials will look for this season, including the "Reggie Miller rule".

Also, officials will emphasize the “Reggie Miller rule” for a shooter who kicks his legs out during jump-shot attempts to create contact and draw fouls. Officials plan to call offensive fouls on shooters who blatantly kick out their legs to initiate contact.

'NBA Referees' photo (c) 2011, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Let's get one thing straight, all of the best plays know how to manipulate the officials and get calls the average players just don't get. Miller did it, Michael Jordan did it, Dwayne Wade does it, Dirk Nowitzki does it, Kobe Bryant does it, LeBron James does it, and so on. Drawing fouls is part of the game and quite frankly this rule won't stop players from trying it. However, a call here or a call there might slow its frequency like the "Flopping rule" has.

Jump shooters will no longer be able to capitalize on the tactic of using their legs to gain space from their defender. In fact, such practices can now be used against them. Believe it or not, it could be quite an adjustment for some of the NBA's best offensive players.

For those whom the leg kick has become second nature, they could find themselves being called for offensive fouls or simply getting no-calls in situations they normally would have found themselves on the free throw line in the past. 

While the strategy was never actually condoned, it was definitely overlooked for years. However, now that the officials have the ability to review such occurrences it should hold more shooters accountable.

'Rockettes' photo (c) 2011, Ralph Daily - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

It's funny how players can be left wide open and have no leg kick at all. Then again, there's really no need for it is there? However, put that same player in traffic and post them up, or have a defender run out to contest a jump shot, or shoot a fade-away, all of a sudden that very leg kick rears its ugly face. It's become a very useful tool for offensive players throughout the league.

Players will now have to create space by dribbling out of double-teams or forced to convert contested shots. Drawing contact will now require defenders leaving their feet and actually fouling shooters or players attacking the rim.

It should result in more drives to the rim and contested jumpers. It should also result in a decline in shooting percentages for those who use to be bailed out by the officials on missed shots.

Those who ignore the new officiating strategy will enjoy an increase in the number of offensive foul calls called against them. This minor tweak places the burden on the offensive player to play sound basketball and allows defenders to stay aggressive on the perimeter while contesting jump shots.

Now, how will this effect the New York Knicks? Well for shooters like Steve Novak it basically means nothing. He makes his living largely on catch-and-shoot threes that are uncontested.

However, Carmelo Anthony who has a beautiful fade-away jumper will need to watch himself and pick his spots while trying to draw contact. Also, remember that and-one three point shot Jason Kidd hit against the Brooklyn Nets the other night? Yeah, that's an offensive foul.

In the end, this is a good thing. Some of the league's deadliest offensive assassins will have to adjust their methods. If they don't they'll suffer the consequences. At some point we're bound to see a teams best player foul out because of this rule. That's okay because they have caused many defenders to do the same over the years when it should have been the other way around or the we should have seen air balls or poor shooting efficiency.

There's no doubt that this will make basketball more difficult, complex and methodical for those who make a living with their jump shots. That's the breaks. It's now a much more fair competition for all involved.

Tags: Basketball, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwayne Wade, Indiana Pacers, Jason Kidd, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, NBA, New York, New York Knicks, Reggie Miller, Steve Novak

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