The points of education for NBA referees in the 2017-18 season will focus both on continuation shots on the perimeter (mainly involving screens) and closeouts on shooters.
The league wants to make sure players are actually in the shooting motion when fouled rather than throwing up a shot after they feel contact but before they begin their shooting motion.
It’s a play Houston Rockets guard James Harden mastered last season. But it just wasn’t Harden taking advantage. League officials noticed an increase in those type of plays in 2016-17.
But this season, NBA refs will pay close attention to that play, focusing on the sequence of movements of the ball-handler and determining if the player was in a shooting motion before or after the contact.
If the referee determines he wasn’t in a shooting motion, it will not be a shooting foul.