Shaq and the No Charge Zone Rule
01 Jul 2015
T he NBA’s Man of Steel, Shaquille O’Neal. At 7 ft 1, 325 lb and U.S. shoe size 23, he became famous for his physical stature. His physical frame gave him a power advantage over most opponents. O’Neal established himself as an overpowering low post presence, putting up career averages of 23.7 points on .582 field goal accuracy, 10.9 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game.
In his rookie season, O’Neal exhibits his power play with the combination of his strength, size and ball control. He was recognized as a monster once he got down below the rim. He can even push his defender on post in just 2 dribbles and be in front of the rim for a quick hook shot.
O’Neal’s “drop step”, also know as the “Black Tornado” in which he posted up a defender, turned around and, using his elbows for leverage, powered past him for a very high-percentage slam dunk, proved an effective offensive weapon. In addition, O’Neal frequently used a right-handed jump hook shot to score near the basket. The ability to dunk contributed to his career field goal accuracy.
29 teams are terrified with his game, that defending team would rather put 2 players just to stop O’Neal. The best
idea that the opposing teams come up with, is to draw an offensive foul on O’Neal. With just a simple push using O’Neal’s shoulder, the defender can draw foul on him because of a well established non-moving feet. The tactics starts to become too often, that every time O’Neal defenders used to draw foul on him, resulting O’Neal to be in foul trouble early in the game.
Orlando Magic starts to struggle for a couple of games, so the team protested, and the league came up with a new rule that would give both teams a benefit.
In the 1997-1998 season, NBA added the “no charge zone” or the “restricted area”. This is the portion of the key, denoted by an arc in the painted area that is positioned four feet from the basket. The arc is important because a defending player can not force a charging foul within this area. It was designed to provide benefit offensive post-up player like O’Neal, players who drive to the basket and limit collisions.
Since then, O’Neal’s force came back to life and took the benefit of the new rule, resulting to a 3 straight titles from 2000 to 2002, and was known to be the most dominant big man in his prime.
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