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Absolutely Unwatchable

Rockets-Clippers is starting to feel like a carnival. The kind with the free throw game, where you can pay 4 bucks to take a shot and try to win a stuffed SpongeBob. No one ever makes it.

The ball is warped, the hoop is mounted too high and the rim is undersized. DeAndre Jordan looks like he’s shooting on that hoop. And that was absolutely unwatchable.

Look, you shoot less than 42% from the line for your career, teams are going to put you there. We all expect opponents to start hacking this guy up in the fourth quarter. But no one expects it less than four minutes into the first quarter. But that’s what happened last night. And then for the rest of the first half. But it actually worked for a time: Jordan set an NBA record with 28 first half free throw attempts, and the Rockets went into the locker room, trailing by just 6.

So while it might be the most unwatchable playoff game ever, it was actually pretty effective. Until it wasn’t. All those fouls didn’t take the Clippers out of their rhythm, they took Houston out of theirs.

Even James Harden admitted after the game that he doesn’t like the strategy. Of course not, James: what’s to like? You lost by 33. Of course, you don’t like it. No one does.

Look, there is a part of me that says, why reward a guy or guys who made it all the way to the Association without ever having learned how to shoot a free throw. And that the solution isn’t to change the game, but rather to play the game. I want to say that, but I can’t. Because that was brutal to watch, and ultimately what it comes down to is entertainment. And there’s nothing entertaining about watching a 48 minute free throw shooting contest.

The NBA can’t have that. And it won’t. They’ll fix it. Because at the end of the day, I know they can change the rule, but I’m not sure there’s anyone or anything that can change DeAndre. At least not at the line.

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