Players often fail to realize that fouls are errors. Not just because five of them will put you on the bench, but because they allow mediocre players to score points on unmolested 15-foot shots.
Someone dribbles down the court, you reach out, get called for a foul and think, Oh well, no big thing. It is early in the game or second half, they only get to take the ball out and the game goes on. The problem is, several minutes later, after several of the team members have a similar “harmless” foul, some mediocre player who doesn’t have a single move in his repertoire gets bumped on a rebound and goes to the line for a one-and-one. And you don’t even feel responsible as the awkward guy struts up to the line and hits two. When you foul, you are in the habit of thinking, Oh well, that’s only my first, instead of, I just gave them two points.
During the course of a half of aggressive play, there are likely to be several unavoidable fouls, but not usually enough to get the other team in the bonus situation unless there are careless, needless-error fouls, too.
The next time you make one of those early “oh well” fouls, remember that you may be giving the opponent two points they otherwise never would have gotten. Don’t be smug simply because it isn’t obvious to the fans that you gave those points that eventually lost the game.
Good players know the importance of not fouling. Except in very few cases, fouls are errors.
From Dick’s book Stuff