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Basketball, in theory, is a non-contact game. However, it is obvious that when you have 10 players moving with great speed inside a limited space, contact cannot be avoided. If contact occurs in a "bona fide" (normal basketball play), like an attempt to play the ball and does not place the opponent at a disadvantage, the contact may be considered incidental and no foul will be called. Contact from behind is not a normal basketball play, and the player who is behind is usually responsible for the contact because of his position in relation to his opponent and the ball. The player responsible for the contact receives the foul.
If you screen someone from behind them how far back do you have to be? Isn't it 1.5'?
I never heard of the 1.5" rule, lol. The way I believe the rule to be interpreted, is that from the back, you have to be set for a full second before the contact takes place, regardless of how close you set up.