January 16, 2019

Thanks for sharing your Delay of Game thoughts and follow-up through the NBA Rulebook.

The action by the defender went beyond breaking the plane in the examples noted for a “Delay Of Game.” This action resulted in a foul against the defender, in favor of the inbounder.
Remember, fouls take precedence over violations that occur virtually within the same sequence. Danny Green’s actions depicted fouling, not simply demonstrating a delay of game tactic, such as knocking the ball away or breaking the imaginary plane.
This particular fouling action is categorized as an Away From The Play Foul and is the only one that can occur during the course of a game, but only prior to the last 2 minutes or Overtime.
The interpretive rule for this action in this Houston v. San Antonio game was carried out correctly: 2 shots for the offended player at 0:7.1 of the 1st quarter.

NBA Rulebook
Rule 12B – Section V—Free Throw Penalty Situations

a. Each team is limited to four team fouls per regulation period without additional
penalties. Common fouls charged as team fouls, in excess of four, will be penalized by one
free throw attempt plus a penalty free throw attempt.
5) Personal fouls which are flagrant, punching, away-from-the-play, or clear-path-to-
the-basket will carry their own separate penalties and are included in the team
foul total.

NBA Casebook

2. During the last two minutes of the fourth period, Player A1 is out-of-bounds and is
attempting to inbound the ball. Player B1 reaches across the boundary line and
fouls Player A1. How is this administered?

Player B1 is assessed an away-from-the-play foul. One free throw
attempt is awarded, regardless of the penalty situation. The free throw
may be attempted by any of the five players in the game at the time.
The ball is then awarded to Team A for a throw-in at the previous spot
with all privileges remaining.
RULE 12B – SECTION X – a (1) and (3)


Ronnie Nunn

Ronnie Nunn was a referee at the NBA level for 19 years before serving as Director of NBA Officials for 5 years and NBA Director of Development for 3 years. He's also a consultant to FIBA and Euroleague.

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