The Clippers used a brilliant tactic to avoid hack-a-DeAndre and it worked

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Clippers

Hack-a-bad-free-throw-shooter has been an effective way to stall an NBA team for decades, and teams are still adjusting to it to this day.

It became popular against Shaquille O'Neal, fittingly dubbed hack-a-Shaq, and it has carried on from there. Now, any big man who struggles at the free-throw line has to be ready for the intentional fouls and trip to the charity stripe.

DeAndre Jordan might be the biggest hack-a target these days, shooting 48 percent from the free-throw line this season and 43 percent on his career. The Los Angeles Clippers faced the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday night and used a brilliant strategy to counter the tactic.

There's a technicality the Clippers managed to use to their advantage to exploit the Mavericks' attempt to hack DeAndre, and it was a genius move. Jordan inbounded for the Clippers, passing it to Chris Paul. It's what happens next that caught the Mavericks by surprise.

Devin Harris went to intentionally foul Jordan, but the Clippers' big man stayed out of bounds. Harris fouls Jordan over and over, looking desperately over for the referees to blow their whistles, but nothing comes of it. Instead, Paul splashes a deep three, and the game goes on.

Here's the play, courtesy of user com-in on Reddit who noticed the nuanced tactic:

The foul never gets called because Jordan never steps back onto the court. He stays out of bounds, which means typical personal fouls can't be called. What's the best way to avoid free-throw problems? Make sure the player never has to even go to the line in the first place.

It's not something the Clippers should or will use all of the time, especially in playoff settings, but it's a savvy move that can both throw teams off and create scoring opportunities with a defender wasting his time fouling a player who technically can't be fouled.

The catch is the rules indicate a player can only stand out of bounds for two seconds or it's a violation. That may be one of the reasons Paul takes such a quick, and deep, shot. The Clippers knew the hack was coming and wanted to get a shot off. 

It worked, and a little bit of foresight went a long way for the Clippers. The NBA has made strides to crack down on intentional fouling, with rules in effect to cut down on something many feel detracts from the game for fans and players. 

Teams still use it when they can, but there are still ways around it, as the Clippers showed the Mavericks. 

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