Taking the Over
The other day in my rec league hoops game, I got the ball on a fast break and took off to shoot a lay-up. But right as I did, the only defender who was back put his head down and bull charged towards me like he was going to undercut me. Reflexively, I pulled up and shot the lay-up earlier than planned, as instinct told me not to run into the guy who looked like he was going to chop block my legs.
My first thought (after missing the lay-up) was that it was an irritating but kind of smart play on the defender's part. But the more I've thought about it, I have realized that it's a completely bullshit and bush league move. It's one thing (and admittedly kind of cheap) to run at a shooter and take a fake poke at the stomach while he's going up for a jumper. But the fake undercut (much like the real-life version of the haircut depicted above) takes things to a whole other level. Ultimately, is it really any different than winding up like you're going to take a swing at a guy while he's driving the lane?
I am of the opinion that such a play should be whistled a foul, even if there's no contact. Maybe it should just be a one shot technical, or a warning, or something. But there's gotta be some kind of deterrent, because absolutely nothing good can come out of the play, unless for some reason you're in favor of giving a cheap and unseemly alternative to a defender who's too small or too scared to try to block the shot.
Here's the rule I propose: Unless you are actually sporting an undercut atop your head, you should have no business fake undercutting another player under any circumstances.
And if you do have an undercut haircut, everyone is pretty much expecting you to act like an ass in the first place, so you might as well get your money's worth.