The way the so-called “transition take fouls” are being changed this season won’t keep them out of the NBA game.
In fact, the league believes this style of play could improve the game now.
The long-awaited rule change — one of the learning points for the NBA this season — was a major talking point for umpires gathering for their preseason meetings this week after training camps across the league were about to open. There are other areas of focus, but the take foul changes are perhaps the most important.
“Some of our best games in the NBA is defensive basketball. We don’t want to discourage that; In fact, we believe this rule will encourage that because now we’re asking you to make a legitimate play with the ball,” said Monty McCutchen, the NBA’s senior vice president, who oversees refereeing and practice. “From that standpoint, we think more exciting basketball is on the horizon and these transition opportunities — both defensively and offensively — can be highlight games. We lost some of that and we believe this rule will bring this exciting game back into our game.”
The take foul — in which the defender fails to play the ball — is what the league describes as one that occurs either “during a scoring opportunity in transition or immediately after a change of possession and before the offensive team has had a chance to advance the ball.” Exceptions are 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 play at the time the foul was committed, along with continued possession of the ball by the offended team.
But the league also hopes that defenders playing with the ball in such situations will lead to exciting games, whether the risk leads to an easy goal on offense or a turnover on defense.
“Our players and our coaches are doing a good job,” McCutchen said. “They are good at their job because they care about their job. They will definitely stop doing this if we are consistent in our work, which I fully foresee. You will then know how to coach it properly. And therein lies the glory of transition basketball being reintroduced into our game.”
Other points of training this season are holdovers from previous years such as: B. Players who have free time both at the post and the edge, putting up proper screens, avoiding travel and having “respect for the game” – which often means not being overly demonstrative to umpires or others when a call isn’t in her direction goes.
Behavior on the bench is also being monitored more closely, as in recent years players have stood in their benched areas during play and often pushed into the touchline or baseline – perhaps a little too close to the action.
“It’s going to be a small change,” McCutchen said. “We want the players on the bench to be able to react spontaneously to an exciting basketball game. But it’s important that they don’t last the whole game because now there are game integrity issues, injury opportunities for players, we want to eliminate all of that.”
There’s another change coming, one that some teams won’t like when the lights come on.
When the NBA Replay Center in Secaucus, New Jersey, makes a mid-game scoring change — 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 one Light flashes on the scorer’s table to indicate that a decision is being announced.
And this change will be announced at the first neutral opportunity, which means a game can be paused in certain situations to update the save.
It was designed to eliminate situations like those seen in Game 7 of last season’s Eastern Conference Finals when Miami’s Max Strus scored a 3-pointer for the heat early in the third quarter in their game against the Boston Celtics. About 3 minutes of play went by before Miami fans were alerted that those three points came off the scoreboard after the replay center said Strus had stepped outside the bounds – although that night’s Heat argued that they didn’t have a definitive angle who said he was clearly on the line.
Miami ended up losing 100-96.
“The new interpretation will allow us to accelerate this exponentially so that everyone has the best information as timely as possible,” McCutchen said.