A couple things bothered me watching the end of the TWolves/Lakers game last night. As you probably have seen already, Mark Madsen was purposely fouling Shaq-sometimes before he even got the ball-to stop the clock. I'm no expert on rules here, but I have a few Cuban-esque questions about the officiating in such a situation.
What exactly is an intentional foul? I'm talking about the kind that gets you a foul shot (or two) and the ball. Is it only if there's a clear path to the basket and the defender isn't going for the ball? Couldn't this be extended to a point where you foul someone off the ball on purpose, and go as far as tell the refs that you're trying to foul? In my opinion Madsen should've been called for intentional fouls whenever he tried to bearhug Shaq when Shaq didn't even have the ball. Its true that if Shaq shot his free throws better there wouldn't be a problem, but that fact also keeps the ball out of Shaq's hands in crunch time, which is a deterrent enough for poor foul-shooting. A defender shouldn't be able to just punch him in the kidney and automatically send him to the line. Something like that is what I would call 'intentional'.
ALSO, it bothers me when NBA players are trying to foul at the end of games, and they can't do it. They'll just lackadaisically wrap their arms around the ball handler, and oftentimes he can get away, keeping the clock moving. And then the defender stands there like a moron asking the refs why they didn't call the foul when it was 'obvious' he was trying to foul them. Here's an idea, just play hyper-agressive REAL defense. Don't walk up to someone and hug them, press them and try and slap at the ball as hard as you can. Either you'll foul them, or you'll get lucky and get a steal. And on the plus side you don't look like an idiot.
UPADATE(5/27): Unsurprisingly, Mark Cuban himself has something to say about the Madsen-Shaq hugfest.