With change being the only constant, the NBA introduced new rules into the game, towards a highly offensive-minded era. The new rules implemented has significantly altered the way the game is played. It focuses on reducing injuries in-game as well as time-wasting.
Under the latest modifications, the league is implementing three revised rules – shot clock will now reset to 14 seconds on offensive rebounds instead of 24 seconds. The definition of a clear path foul has been simplified to reduce judgment calls by officials. Lastly, referees will have an expanded ability to review “hostile acts” by players and coaches.
With the new “Shot Clock Reset” rule implemented, coaches have their work cut out especially during the closing minutes of a tight game.
Having cut to just 14 seconds, it forces managers to tweak their tactics and the players have to react faster as they no longer have the luxury to bring the ball out of the perimeter and reset their plays. Moreover, the fast-paced energy promotes higher scoring which creates a greater overall entertainment product for the audience, picking up viewership and ticket sales.
Although some NBA critics may speculate that the 14-second shot clock change and the possible blows on the use of big men, this may have very little impact in the actual game. These critics are perhaps fixated on how the rules are further pushing for a faster game that may lower the use of low post centers. However, according to Nylon Calculus, only six percent of all possessions after offensive rebounds lasted longer than 14 seconds last season which evidently shows the minimal impact that the rule change will have on the players and future seasons.
Furthermore, the new shot clock reset calls upon the bigger players to step up in helping with rebounds and under-baskets that can help the team with time efficiency. Overall, this, in fact, spurs all players regardless of position and speed to work their way around the 14-second shot clock in order to maximize efficiency and prevent time-wastage.
“We think it will enhance the entertainment of the game,” commissioner Adam Silver said in September, per ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski. “A team that’s down, because it will lead to more possessions, will give them a better chance of coming back and just overall increase pace.”
Moving on, the new simplified clear path foul rule is a great addition to the game that discourages dangerous attempts to foul against the offensive plays in fast break transitions. Reckless defense from the back can result in injuries and fouls that disrupt the fast-break. This rule keeps the safety of the players in check as well as maximizing competitive-gaming calls.
According to reports, the league’s officials are emphasizing what the NBA calls freedom of movement this season, an effort to clean up some of the extra contact that happens away from the ball and impedes offensive players from cutting and getting open. And it’s no surprise that the tighter whistles are an advantage to the offense, though they are hardly the only reason why scoring is soaring.
League wide, teams are averaging 110 points per game. The Sacramento Kings have jumped from 98.8 points per game in the 2017-2018 season to 115.1 points this season, capitalizing on their young roster and leads the league in fast-break points 22.3, as compared to their 10.4 in the previous season.
The Milwaukee Bucks are also averaging 116.9 points per game, a full 10 point increase from their 106 last year.
Image by USA Today Photo
Finally, the expansion of the definition of “hostile acts” rule is introduced in order to enable referees to replay and review hostile or aggressive behavior by coaches and players more thoroughly before making a final foul-call or decision. The rule aims to create and emphasize a friendlier and PG sports platform by discouraging and controlling impulsive violence on the court. According to ESPN, basketball is the most popular sport among American youth, both boys and girls. Thus, it is extremely vital for the NBA to lean towards a more safe-viewing sport in order to maintain their young and future fan-base in the long run.
With the new rule change, referees will now go to replay review if a hostile act as described above is not just committed against another player but involves a referee, coach or fan.
No second coming of the Malice at the Palace anytime soon.
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