DALLAS -- Mavericks center Tyson Chandler picked up two fouls in the first-quarter against the Sacramento Kings. He picked up three in the third quarter against the New Jersey Nets and finished with five. Against the Utah Jazz on Saturday, he got hit with four in the fourth quarter and fouled out of a tight game with 4:31 to go.
That's 14 fouls in his last three games, too many for a player the Dallas Mavericks depend on as their defensive rudder and to rebound.
"A couple of my fouls have been the rules change to be honest with you," Chandler said after Monday morning's shootaround as the Mavs seek a 13th consecutive win tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks.
The rules change has Chandler thinking too much at times about his positioning or how to attack his opponent. He'll get another big test tonight against versatile Bucks center Andrew Bogut, who is coming off a 24-point, 22-rebound game. The rules change calls for the defensive player to keep his arms up, but to also jump straight up as the offensive player goes up to shoot or makes a move to the basket.
In the past, the defensive player could remain planted on the floor, keep his arms up and effectively draw a charge. That is no longer the case.
The change is designed to make the defensive player contest the shot while also making it easier for the official to determine which player initiated contact. So, if the defender has his arms vertical, jumps straight up to contest the shot and draws contact with the shooter, the rule states that the defender is not guilty of committing a foul.
"It’s a matter of putting yourself in position with your feet and your body and then keeping your hands out of it unless you’re in a good position to strip," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "In instances when he hasn’t done that, that’s when he picks up the fouls. It happened three times against New Jersey and a couple times against Sacramento."
Chandler said he sometimes instinctively reverts to the old rules in which the defender more or less had a right to hold his position, in other words, stand flat-footed with arms up as the offensive player makes a move to the basket.
"So I keep thinking as long as I’m straight up it shouldn’t be a foul," Chandler said. "A couple of them I got away with and a couple of them they called. So I guess I’ve got to make a little better effort of getting off the floor, except I got a couple [fouls] that way too, so it’s kind of tough to gauge on what I should be doing. I’m going to try to stick by the rules and start jumping and get in the air so I don’t pick them up."