Portland Trail Blazers forward Moe Harkless stands six-feet-nine-inches tall and the man can leap, too. But when you add in some fancy footwork you get one memorable play, even if the ball had been blown dead already. Indiana Pacers star Domantas Sabonis gives Harkless his chance to shine by tossing up a lofted shot after the whistle. Harkless hoists himself up by grabbing the net and swats the ball away — with his foot!
It’s a tried and true practice for big men to disrupt after-the-whistle shots. They may not seem to matter, but it’s said that when shooters feel a shot go in, they gain confidence — even if the shot goes up after the whistle. 7-foot Hall of Famer and Dream Teamer Patrick Ewing, for example, would never let a practice shot go in when a game was in progress, dead ball or not. Harkless is merely adding his own personal touch to the age-old practice of denying shooters a good moment.
Harkless not only swats the shot away with his foot, he swats it away with the sole of his foot. Whatever the Blazers are doing is working. Portland is the most surprising team in the Western Conference with a 43-27 record, including a 106-98 win over the Pacers — who were obviously intimidated by the foot blocking!