Over the past several years, players have learned that if they attempt to get into a shooting motion on the whistle, they would be rewarded by the referees with a shooting foul and free throws.

The NBA Rules committee determined that this action was an “after-thought” type shot after the foul. Officials have been more apt to call a common foul if there’s any question about it being a shooting foul.

It is still incumbent upon the defender to be cautious making a defensive play, especially if the clock has only a few seconds left, reinforcing the notion that the offensive player is highly likely to shoot the ball.

If a player is clearly facing the hoop, and is fouled while taking steps to it, as in a “continuation movement,” or is already in an “upward shooting motion” when fouled, he/she will be afforded a shooting foul anywhere on the court.

Both the Official’s and the Replay Center’s interpretation of the backcourt play with Curry fouling Teague (end of the 2nd quarter, Warriors at Hawks on February 22, 2016) was that at the time of the foul, Teague was not facing the hoop, and his steps towards the basket came afterwards, thus not awarding him a 3 point attempt and subsequently 3 free throws. The result was ruled a common foul, and Teague shot 2 FTs since Golden State was in the penalty.

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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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