[Video] Analysis of Jonas Valanciunas’ Four Fouls in Game 6 – Good Calls?

Jonas Valanciunas was called for four fouls – how many were legitimate?

The video is below – here’s how I saw them.

#1. Loose ball foul v Pierce: He was out of position and tried to reach for the rebound, bent his arms, and Pierce took full advantage by going down, perhaps, easier than he should have. There’s some body contact there as well. The most important thing to note is this: there is no need to commit this foul as he’s not in rebounding position and this will get called every time.

#2. Offensive foul v Pierce: Bad call. Pierce is moving on his late rotation. He’s definitely outside the circle, which these days is too often mistakenly perceived as having position. You need to be outside the circle and have position firmly established before contact. Pierce got there when Valanciunas had left his feet.

#3. Over-the-back v Garnett: Very questionable call. Garnett pulled the old veteran trick of exaggerating contact as soon as he felt Valanciunas’ hands on him. There was no push-off here, not even in the slightest.

#4. Over-the-back v Kirilenko: This looks like an obvious foul, however, when you look at the replays of this one (sorry, don’t have ’em), there was minimal contact on this. The onus is on Valanciunas to play smarter, and not use his forearm in a way where, when he brings it up for the rebound, it brushes against the defender. He may have a reach advantage in these sorts of situation and in order for that to materialize, he forgets that he still needs to move his feet to get the right rebounding angle, rather than relying on reach alone.

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