FOLLOWING PHILADELPHIA'S GAME 6 win over Atlanta on Friday night, Joel Embiid took the opportunity to address a double standard in NBA officiating.
"I just felt like it wasn't called both ways, especially because of the minimal contact that they get on their point guard," he said. "When it comes to us, we don't get the same thing. I just want it called both ways."
When Embiid said "us," he wasn't referring to the Philadelphia 76ers as a team. He was referring to NBA big men who operate out of the post -- a dying archetype of player that Embiid says gets held to a different threshold of contact when drawing fouls compared to the lighter standard applied to modern perimeter-shooting marvels, including Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young.
"If we're gonna call some, like nothing [contact] on their point guard, it should be the same way, they should call the same thing on me if I get touched," Embiid added.
Embiid has a point. There is a different standard for jump-shooters than there is for post players, but that is by design. The NBA rulebook explicitly allows interior defenders more contact than perimeter defenders get.
You can legally jam an arm bar into a post player's lumbar region and lean into them with all your might, but if you dare graze the elbow of a shooter 25 feet away from the basket you're not just getting busted, you're on the hook for one of the most punitive penalties in the NBA, the dreaded 3-point shooting foul.
Everyone knows that 3-point shooting has exploded in popularity over the past decade. But there's one thing that's growing even faster: 3-point fouling. And it's having an outsized impact on NBA offenses.