Top 15 Flaws in The NBA Game

The success of the NBA has made it easier to mask its many flaws. Although most fans remain enamored by ridiculous dunks and off balance 3-point shots, it is becoming harder to see players on the professional level fail to have a complete grasp of the fundamentals of the game. Many recreational players do some of the things in the public gym that NBA players are failing to do in arenas in front of large crowds.

Consider the free throw. In the NBA, big men get fouled so frequently that it is absurd when they have so many struggles to hit open 15-foot shots. Many, if not most, recreational players can shoot free throws better than at least half the players in the NBA. Players in high school box out better than most professionals in the NBA. Coaches have more respect in high school and college and they even know when to call a timeout. It could have been possible for the Oklahoma City Thunder to add Karl-Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor to a roster that already includes Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. There are some glaring flaws in the NBA and the whole Eastern Conference is one of them.

The top 15 flaws in the NBA represent mostly the rules, coaching and style of play. The athletes are still amazing, the arenas are full, and yet many of the things that make basketball purists sick are prospering in the NBA. It is an amazing game to watch and relatively easy to play, but for these reasons and more, the quality of play has been in decline.

15 Poor Coaching

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

14 The Missing Bank Shot

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

13 Inconsistent Defense

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

12 Traveling Is Never Called

11 Poor Post Play

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

10 Settling On The Three

9 The Draft Lottery


8 Preventing a Turnover by Calling a Timeout

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

7 Overuse of Dunks

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

6 No Boxing Out


5 Atrocious Free Throw Shooting

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

4 Too Much Pick and Roll


3 The 82 game season

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

2 The Eastern Conference


1 The Intentional Foul


The Western Conference playoffs have exposed a glaring weakness in the NBA game. Big men have notoriously had issues with shooting free throws, but there should be no way soft bear hugs should put them on the line. Flagrant fouls are no different than intentional fouls and yet there are penalties for committing them. The intention of both fouls is still the same. They are both efforts to prevent the opponent from scoring, and although flagrant fouls require penalties to help keep players safe, intentional fouls need a penalty to keep the game from becoming boring. At least flagrant fouls are almost exclusively committed in order to prevent easy layups or dunks, while intentional fouls are more often committed off the ball and away from the action. These fouls have only given fans extra television breaks that don’t even bring the league extra advertising revenue.

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Top 15 Flaws in The NBA Game