I'm all for instant replay access for the refs. The more errors they can correct,the better it is for conspiracy theories that haunt the games during the playoffs. With every new NBA season, the NBA seems to address a few problem areas.I'll never forget the start of the 2010-11 season when refs were giving technical fouls out with a minor shoulder shrug. The NBA wised up,and the refs stopped handing out technical fouls for breathing wrong. So what should we look forward to this season?
Several wrinkles were added to the rulebook for the 2013-14 season, and after attending the media officiating seminar in Newark, N.J., on Thursday, a couple of important changes stand out.
First, when officials review a block-charge call to determine where a defender was positioned with respect to the restricted area, they will now be able to reverse a charge call or uphold a block if the defender was not outside the restricted area when the offensive player started his shooting motion. This does not mean all block-charge plays are reviewable; it remains the case that only calls made based on the defender's positioning with respect to the restricted area in the last two minutes of regulation or overtime can be reviewed.
Another welcome change: Officials will now be able to reverse off-ball fouls if replay shows that the shooter had not yet begun his shooting motion at the time of the contact. Same goes for off-ball fouls on inbounds plays when replay shows the inbounding player had not released the ball at the time of contact. I don't think it'll come up much, but officials also will now have the latitude to assess technical or flagrant fouls they see on video replay when reviewing an unrelated play.
As far as points of emphasis, the one that will come into play the most is delay-of-game violations when offensive players redirect the ball (i.e. toss it to the ref or bounce it out of bounds) after a made basket. League officials say it happened 214 times during the playoffs last season. Blowing the whistle on such shenanigans will speed up the game. Another good one: A team will lose possession if an offensive player goes out of bounds and does not return to the court immediately (with exceptions, of course, for injury and other circumstances that can't be avoided.) Seems like a small thing, but this is a tactic that the Denver Nuggets started using a couple of years ago to further spread out the floor and confuse the defense. Last season, league officials say 11 teams used the tactic.
When it comes to blocking calls. I know the NBA wants the fastest game possible, but I still believe there needs to be more instant replays throughout the game.A lot of the rules are based around the last two minutes of the fourth quarter, or if a game enters overtime. Which is great, but I think coaches should be able to challenge during the game.Similar to the refs checking during timeouts whether or not a players foot was behind the three-point arc.I think a rule that will take some time for the players to adjust to, is the redirecting of the ball to the ref after a made basket.
I think everyone out there wants to eliminate errors from the game when it comes to the refs making awful calls. We already know they cater to certain star players, and eliminating that notion as much as possible will only make the game that much better, and it will remove the stain of the NBA being like professional wrestling.The league has a history with shady refs, and the NBA needs to ensure that it's not the case currently in the NBA.
Follow Shawn on Twitter- @Celticstitletow
shawn cassidy 9/28/2013 02:28:00 AM Tweet