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Who's in Charge

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 3/30/2011 12:15:46 PM

Offensive fouls in the NBA is one area that is very difficult to referee but the league tried to help the refs out a few years ago but adding a small circle around the hoop which gives them a nice visual to work with daily.

An offensive foul is illegal contact by an offensive player after the ball is live. It occurs when a player runs into a stationary opponent who has established position.

When discovering the players that are great at taking charges in the game, bettors can adapt to possible situations where that player can be projected to affect the point spread.

The thing about taking a charge, is that the play can be a game changer. Often times there is s switch in momentum and often times it can result in a 4-point play, the 2 that the other team didn’t get and the two that the team that took the charge has a chance to get.

Generally speaking, taking a charge is a lost art. It requires a unique team concept that a player will sacrifice his body for one possession and it is usually a young man’s game.

But not this season.

Grant Hill is the third oldest player in the Association but he leads the league in offensive fouls drawn which includes taking charges, moving screens, etc.

Going into the last week of March he had 55 charges taken, best in the league by 7. Of the next 5 best taking charges, two guys are kind of surprising.

Utah’s Devin Harris is next at 48 and unlikely back up point J.J. Barea is 4th at 46. Those two don’t seem like tough guys but it goes to show the league how smart they are basketball wise.

Third in the league is Big Baby Davis of the Boston Celts and the 5th best is the much-underrated Nick Collison of the Oklahoma Thunder.

All of these players impact the point spread of a game. Harris is arguably the best player at Utah. J.J. Barea spells relief for Jason Kidd in Dallas and Collison is the muscle guy in the Thunder rotation.

Two of the next 5 best in taking charges are a pair of wily veterans. Derek Fisher and Manu Ginobili both took over 40 charges this year. Fisher has ice cubes in his veins and is a proven talent at crunch time, while Ginobili is one of the best guards in the league.

Monta Ellis is known as a scoring machine, but what goes basically unknown is that he took 38 charges this year and he gets out in the passing lanes and steals the ball too.

Up and coming Wesley Matthews of the Portland Trailblazers is on the top ten list and he will only improve with experience while the sensational Blake Griffin closes out the best taking the charge.

Both Dallas and Portland are plus 5 against the spread at this point of the season while Ginobili is a huge reason that the San Antonio Spurs have been great ATS all season.

After 72 games and behind the talent of Ginobili, the Spurs were 41-29-2 ATS and they were awesome on the road going 24-11-1 after 36 events. Keep some of these things in the back of your mind for the final days of betting the regular NBA season


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