Changing the way transition take fouls are officiated this season won’t keep them out of the NBA game.
In fact, the league believes that type of play can now improve the game.
The long-awaited rule change, one of the education points for the NBA this season, was a major talking point this week for referees, who gathered for their preseason meetings now that training camps in the league are closed. about to open. There are other points of emphasis, but the fouling changes may be the most significant.
“Some of our best plays in the NBA are defensive basketball. We don’t want to discourage that; in fact, we think this rule will encourage that because now we’re asking you to make a legitimate play with the ball,” said Monty McCutchen, NBA senior vice president of referee oversight and coaching. “From that standpoint, we think there’s more exciting basketball to come and these goal transition opportunities, both defensively and offensively, can be standout plays. We’ve lost some of that and we think this rule will inject that exciting gameplay into our game.”
The foul kick, in which the defender does not make a play with the ball, is what the league classifies as one that occurs “during a transition scoring opportunity or immediately after a change of possession and before the team offense had a chance to advance. the ball.” The exception is in the last 2 minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime.
The new penalty for such a foul is a free throw, which may be attempted by any player of the offended team in the game at the time the foul was committed, along with continued possession by the offended team.
But the league also expects defenders making plays with the ball in those situations to create exciting plays, whether the gamble leads to the offensive team getting an easy score or results in the defensive team cashing in a turnover.
“Our players and our coaches are good at their jobs,” McCutchen said. “They are good at their jobs because they are committed to their work. They will absolutely stop doing this if we are consistent in our work, which I fully anticipate we will be. Then they will know how to train it correctly. And therein lies the glory of reinjecting transitional basketball into our game.”
Other education points this season are holdovers from years past, such as players having freedom for now both in the post and on the perimeter, setting up proper screens, avoiding travel, and having “respect for the game,” which is often it means not being too demonstrative towards umpires or others when a call doesn’t go their way.
Bench conduct will also be more closely monitored, after an increase in recent years of players standing in their bench areas during play and often encroaching on the sideline or baseline, perhaps coming close. too much into action.
“That’s going to be a bit of a change,” McCutchen said. “We want the players on the bench to be able to react spontaneously to the exciting game of basketball. But it’s important that they don’t endure the entire game, because now you’re getting into game integrity issues, potential for injury to game participants, we want to eliminate all of that.”
Another change is coming, one that some teams won’t like the light on.
When the NBA Replay Center in Secaucus, New Jersey makes a score change during the game, usually whether a 3-point shot was actually a 3 or a 2, or whether or not a basket beat the 24-second shot clock, a blue light will flash on the scorer’s table, indicating that a decision is about to be announced.
And that change will be announced at the first neutral opportunity, meaning a game could be paused in certain situations to update the score.
It’s designed to eliminate situations like the one in Game 7 of last season’s Eastern Conference finals, when Miami’s Max Strus hit a 3-pointer early in the third quarter for the Heat in their game against the Boston Celtics. About 3 minutes of playing time passed before fans in Miami were alerted that those three points were off the scoreboard, after the replay center said Strus went out of bounds, though the Heat argued that night that they didn’t. they had seen no definite angle saying that he was clearly on the line.
Miami ended up losing 100-96.
“The new interpretation will allow us to speed it up exponentially so everyone has the best information as close to real time as possible,” McCutchen said.