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Saturday, December 14, 2019

Willie Cauley-Stein, Karl-Anthony Towns called for flagrant fouls over Zaza Rule

Willie Cauley-Stein foul

Willie Cauley-Stein and Karl-Anthony Towns were both called for flagrant fouls on Wednesday night for landing under the feet of shooters while attempting blocks on closeouts.

Towns was called for the flagrant foul for landing under Dillon Brooks during the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 137-121 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. He seemed confused about the call.

Then in the Golden State Warriors’ 129-112 loss to the Houston Rockets, Cauley-Stein was also called for a flagrant foul for landing under the feet of James Harden.

The rule was created and implemented in September 2017 for the purpose of encouraging player safety. It was informally named the “Zaza Rule” because Pachulia had injured Kawhi Leonard in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals that year with a similar move.

When the rule was implemented, officials were given the ability to call fouls for such plays. They could then upgrade to flagrant fouls or technicals depending on whether they viewed the moves as intentional. On Wednesday, the officials immediately called flagrant fouls. It seems the league and refs are trying to make a point about these plays.



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