Out of Bounds: How a Simple Rule Change can Hurt the Nuggets Offense

As I was scrolling through my Twitter timeline on Wednesday afternoon one tweet caught my eye.

It was different from the normal NBA Finals analysis that has filled that space lately and something that many people probably saw and blew right by.

That tweet is below:

You see many people will see this and wonder why there even has to be a rule for this. That many teams wouldn’t think of doing it.

After all if a player is out of bounds it makes offense even harder since they can’t touch the ball at that moment.

But as most people who follow the Nuggets may know, for them this rule matters.

The strategy was shown in a few articles this year most notably by Mike Prada (Point #3 here) and Lowe himself (footnote #8 here).

The strategy makes sense. Since the Nuggets don’t really have any big capable of stretching the floor vertically or horizontally from 8 to 15 feet they need to find another way to create spacing and room at the rim for someone like Ty Lawson.

By staying out of bounds they do just that, forcing their defenders underneath the rim so that the Nuggets bigs cannot step into the paint for passes or offensive rebounds uncontested.

With the speed of Lawson or the finishing ability of Iguodala that extra half a second or half a step that they are able to gain on the opposing bigs gets them much easier looks than if the Nuggets bigs were in bounds and trying to find some place to be instead.

As fellow RMC writer David said when we discussed this a bit yesterday, we don’t know if the strategy was Karl based and therefore would remain Karl exclusive so in the end the rule may not matter at all.

But with a Nuggets offense that can tend to struggle in the half court as it is, anything that may upset that is a big deal and the lack of this spacing option could be just that meaning this rule is one that the Nuggets and their fans should be following as it develops.

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  • Ckwizard

    Well if the rule stopped offensive players from using Baseline screens and running out of bounce also then it would change a lot of teams offensive sets

  • LegalizeDenverNuggets

    Hmmm I don’t know about that one. I can see why they’d want to discuss it, but it seems like an enforcement challenge. The refs are in over their head as it is and I have a hard time seeing the league putting them in a position where they’d have to make more lame calls like that. Or do you think it’d be a situation where the league would make this rule, then warn problematic teams and start fining them if they continued? Either way- It would be lame for this rule to come into effect. Out-of-bounds is a zone that relates to the ball and people touching the ball. But I guess its a slippery slope haha- what keeps the players from going into the stands if they are allowed to be out of bounds without the ball? Next thing you know, people will be getting married to animals. Oops- wrong slippery slope. Hah!

    Have a good day guys!

  • http://Twitter.com/A_Rodriguez8 D3Ntilthe3ND

    Andre Miller would be out of a job if this was implemented.

  • Trip

    I could see them enforcing a time based rule like 3 seconds in the paint. Maybe the offensive player can only be in the same area out of bounds for 5 seconds. It would be hard to control, but i could see the NBA trying to control that.