Over the past few seasons, there's been a significant increase in the number of transition take fouls by players looking to prevent fastbreaks in the open court. Last season, that practice seemed to be at an all-time high across the league, with the Spurs being no exception to both benefitting and being hurt by it.
With the NBA Board of Governors now approving a new rule to help curb that, we should start to see the momentum-killing foul start to decline rapidly. According to the new policy, the team disadvantaged by a foul to prevent a transition scoring opportunity will receive one free throw that anyone on the floor can take. They will also retain possession.
How the rule should especially benefit the San Antonio Spurs
There are a number of ways this new policy should help the Spurs not only this coming season but well beyond. For one, they're now just behind Oklahoma City Thunder for the youngest roster in the league -- and young guys love to run.
Last season, San Antonio was 8th in the NBA in fastbreak points per game with 13.6. That was a huge jump from the DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge era season the year before, when they finished 17th at 11.6.
With an average age of around 23.8 years across the roster as it stands, make no mistake that this team is going to be in the top 10 in fast break points again next season and should even threaten to be in the top five. With this new rule, the Spurs can get out and run without worrying about being stopped before their fastbreaks even begin. If so, they'll be getting a lot of extra points in games.
Beyond this helping the Spurs in the open court, it'll also help them in another department in which they've recently struggled: getting to the line. San Antonio finished just 25th in the NBA in free throw attempts at 20.4 per game last season.
The fact that Dejounte Murray and Derrick White (numbers one and two in drawing fouls last season) are now gone means San Antonio is probably going to finish in the bottom three in that department this season, so they can use all the help they can get.
This won't likely be a big enough rule change to add several wins to the Spurs' expectedly meager win total, but considering they'll be one of the younger teams in the NBA for years to come, this development isn't nothing.
Get ready to see some running and gunning like we haven't seen in years in San Antonio this season.