Taking a Charge in the NBA
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"Taking the Charge" in NBA Basketball

Taking the Charge in NBA Basketball

There are some obvious individual measures that should without doubt be part of the official NBA statistics -- with some form of plus/minus data topping the list for us. However an even easier number to introduce would be foul drawing, and fans would relish and indeed have been clamoring to see data on which NBA players draw the most offensive fouls from their opponents.

If you can handle "un-official" statistics (which is to say we're missing video for parts of a handful of games and have some to be expected variance in data collection to begin with), then keep reading!

Leading NBA Players in drawing Offensive Fouls
For the NBA 2005-06 season to this point and with the aforementioned caveats, here are your league leaders:

2005-06 Regular Season
Rank
Team
Player
Off.Fouls
Drawn
1 PHO  Bell 76
2 CHI  Nocioni 67
3 MIL  Bogut 65
4 UTA  Collins 63
5 GSW  Dunleavy 63
6 DET  B.Wallace 50
7 NJN  Krstic 50
8 GSW  Fisher 49
9 NOK  Mason 49
10 MEM  Battier 48
11 SAS  Ginobili 48
12 TOR  Peterson 48
13 CHI  Hinrich 46
14 PHI  Iverson 44
15 TOR  Bosh 43
16 WAS  Daniels 41
17 NJN  Collins 39
18 SAS  Bowen 39
19 NOK  Claxton 38
20 WAS  Haywood 36
21 UTA  Okur 36
22 MIA  Haslem 36
23 PHO  Nash 36
24 SAC  Miller 35
25 IND  O'Neal 35
26 DEN  Miller 35
27 POR  Khryapa 35
28 PHO  Thomas 34
29 WAS  Arenas 33
30 PHI  Korver 32
30 CLE  Varejao 32
30 UTA  Williams 32



When we ran this at midseason, we were expecting it to be very tight at the top, but as it turned out, there was a runaway leader in Raja Bell of the Suns, followed by one main chaser in part time player Jarron Collins of the Jazz, and Andres Nocioni a distant third.

For the full season, Bell is still on top, but Chicago's main flopper has quickly made up ground to finish second.

It's an interesting mix, so let's try a little grouping.

"Little Big Men" -- height challenged Offensive Stars with a reputation for toughness
- Iverson, Ginobili, Nash, Andre Miller

Real Deal all around talents with the built bodies to match their willingness to step up
- Brad Miller, Jermaine O'Neal, Bosh, Pierce

Defensive Specialists/Gritty guys who don't mind doing the "dirty work"
- Collins, Nocioni, Kurt Thomas, Battier, Haywood, Fisher, Ben Wallace, Haslem, Iguodala, Najera, Mo Taylor, Khryapa, Bruce Bowen

Often overlooked/Quiet game types
Bell, Dunleavy, Krstic, Mason, Bogut, Claxton, Hinrich, Hudson, Peterson

It's pretty safe to say that all of the players on this list are winners in a sense, with the right attitude to the game and thus good guys to have on a team.

The character of a player to "take one for the team" is often discussed, but hard to quantify...offensive fouls drawn may be a good place to start.

Since a number of the "enforcers" of the NBA and hustle players who do often seem to be the first to put their bodies in the way of an oncoming player (and let's be honest, we're talking freight trains in some cases) don't play extensive minutes, it makes sense to look at the leaders on an Offensive Foul Drawn per X Minutes" basis.

Minimum: 10 Offensive Fouls Drawn
Rank
Team
Player
Off.Fouls
Drawn
Minutes/
Off.Foul Drawn
1 CLE  Varejao 32 23.7
2 DAL  Armstrong 25 24.9
3 UTA  Collins 63 27.4
4 SEA  Fortson 10 27.6
5 MIL  Smith 29 30.5
6 PHI  Randolph 15 32.5
7 CHI  Nocioni 67 33.4
8 MIN  Madsen 20 33.7
9 MIN  Reed 20 35.2
10 CHI  Harrington 23 35.8
11 MIL  Bogut 65 36.1
12 ATL  Ivey 27 36.1
13 SAS  Ginobili 48 37.7
14 MIN  Hudson 21 38.0
15 ORL  Hill 16 38.3
16 PHO  Bell 76 38.8
17 MEM  Cardinal 10 39.9
18 NYK  Taylor 30 40.3
19 NOK  Vroman 10 40.5
20 NOK  Andersen 14 40.7







So Bell places a respectable 16th in the league on a "minutes per offensive foul drawn" basis, but Nocioni outpaces him which is why with the increased playing time the midseason gap shrunk!

There are some notable role players who pile them up at an even fast clip, headed by Anderson Varejao, who one day may get substantial minutes and thus be a threat for raw total leader.

We do also add a few of the names that would be most guessed for this kind of activity -- the Madsen, Fortson, and Othella Harringtons of the NBA.

Team by Team Leaders in drawing Offensive Fouls
All right, the league leaders are fun, but you want to know who's been getting knocked to the floor most often on a team by team basis, and also whether offensive fouls have any correlation with team success.

Team
Off.Fouls
Drawn
Off.Fouls
Committed
Net
Off.Foul
Top Three in drawing the Offensive Foul
 Chicago 273  211  +62   Nocioni 67 - Hinrich 46 - Chandler 25
 Utah 252  200  +52   Collins 63 - Okur 36 - Williams 32
 Phoenix 247  133  +114   Bell 76 - Nash 36 - K.Thomas 34
 Golden State 216  197  +19   Dunleavy 63 - Fisher 49 - Richardson 27
 Toronto 215  194  +21   Peterson 48 - Bosh 43 - James 24
 Washington 213  200  +13   Daniels 41 - Haywood 36 - Arenas 33
 New Orleans 199  179  +20   Mason 49 - Claxton 38 - Paul 22
 Milwaukee 193  183  +10   Bogut 65 - Smith 29 - Simmons 16
 Charlotte 192  169  +23   Wallace 29 - Felton 28 - Jones 25
 New Jersey 190  165  +25   Krstic 50 - Collins 39 - Jefferson 24
 Sacramento 185  134  +51   Miller 35 - Bibby 29 - Martin 27
 Atlanta 183  216  -33   Pachulia 31 - J.Smith 27 - Ivey 27
 Denver 179  180  -1   Miller 35 - Camby 27 - Buckner 26
 Memphis 178  165  +13   Battier 48 - Gasol 23 - E.Jones 23
 New York 177  295  -118   Taylor 30 - Robinson 23 - Marbury 20
 Philadelphia 176  122  +54   Iverson 44 - Korver 32 - Iguodala 26
 San Antonio 176  138  +38   Ginobili 48 - Bowen 39 - Nesterovic 12
 Miami 171  192  -21   Haslem 36 - Posey 31 - Wade 18
 Orlando 165  194  -29   Stevenson 31 - Battie 20 - Hill 16
 Dallas 155  169  -14   Armstrong 25 - Harris 21 - Howard 17
 Cleveland 155  185  -30   Varejao 32 - Snow 25 - Gooden 20
 L.A. Lakers 154  189  -35   Brown 25 - Vujacic 25 - Cook 24
 Minnesota 145  212  -67   Hudson 21 - Madsen 20 - Reed 20
 Detroit 144  128  +16   B.Wallace 50 - Hamilton 26 - R.Wallace 14
 Boston 144  199  -55   Pierce 25 - Jefferson 19 - LaFrentz 18
 Portland 140  189  -49   Khryapa 35 - Ratliff 19 - Jack 13
 Seattle 126  196  -70   Collison 18 - Ridnour 16 - Allen 14
 Indiana 122  220  -98   O'Neal 35 - Granger 15 - Croshere 15
 L.A. Clippers 112  182  -70   Cassell 18 - Brand 14 - Ross 11
 Houston 106  165  -59   Wesley 16 - Yao 12 - Howard 12

And so it's the Chicago Bulls with their torrid defensive intensity in the second half of the season who come out on top for most offensive fouls drawn. The Utah Jazz with their bruising "big" lineup are also adept at drawing the charge.

The Phoenix Suns though have really been one of the two top team stories of the season along with Detroit's magnificent performance. The thing is that the mainstream is still thinking Phoenix is the uber-offense, no defense team of a year ago, when in fact they are playing a different style of game nowadays. Last year for instance, we had them drawing 135 offensive fouls on the season, which they nearly doubled this season! They also lead in "best net" for offensive fouls by a wide margin.

...and if we couldn't have guessed anyway, the Knicks were worst in the league in net offensive fouls, thanks in part to the league leader in committing the offensive foul, Eddy Curry.

We'll have more to say about fouls in future articles (picture things like "Flop %" and "Kings of the Loose Ball collisions"), but to summarize it looks like this:

  1. players who are among the leaders in offensive fouls drawn are likely to have positive on court/off court influence
  2. the correlation between team totals for drawing offensive fouls and net offensive fouls to wins is limited
  3. it takes one bad ass/crazy dude to stand in the way of an NBA superstar driving full speed to the basket!


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