Increasing Scoring in the NBA

In the NBA, the way changes to the game are supposed to be introduced is viathe Rules and Competition
Committee. It consists of a member from each team, and it meets a couple times a year to discuss the issues that are
impacting the game itself.

Each year the Mavs, and other teams put together a list of items that we think would benefit the game and propose
it to the committee. Each year since I’ve been in the league, the results have been pretty much the same. We get shot
down, as do the proposals by most other teams. What changes occur are,with rare exceptions,on the

Since change doesn’t come easy inside the league, sometimes creating discussion on the outside is the best forum.
It’s easier to get information in the hands of every GM and owner via the media than it is at an NBA meeting. I know
that they all get their daily printouts of articles and usually read them. If there is any controversy at all. They
definitely read them. There isn’t a toiletin the NBA that doesnt have that days NBA related articles
photocopied, stapled and laying on the floor.

It’s not that the NBA wont allow it or doesn’t encourage proposals or discussions, they do both. The Commish has
made this a point of emphasis and he has gotten results. When I first got into the league there was zero discussion
at meetings I attended. Now there is a lot more valuable give and take going on.The problem now is that there
isn’t enough time for more than a couple issues to be proposed, and there iseven less time for discussion.
There just aren’t enough hours at meetings. Or maybe there just aren’t enough meetings. Either way, because of time
constraints,team thoughts and issues beyond the most impactful financial issues are not proposed or

Which is my way of explaining why I thought it would be a good idea to offer what I have proposed, and would
propose to increase scoring in the NBA.

First, is our annual request to either get rid of the charge line or at least move it further away from the
basket. I have detailed our logic in aprevious blog entry.Each meeting our chances of this passing are
equal toCindy Crawford saying yes to Homer Simpson for a date.

What we haven’t proposed, because it would be immediately dismissed, is the following:

1. The NBA officials have a guideline for incidental contact. Their guideline is that if the incidental contact
doesn’t impact or impede the “Speed, Balance, Quickness or Rhythm” of the offensive player, then a foul will not be
called. The logic of the guideline makes absolutely perfect sense. An offensive player may still have an advantage,
even after the contact, and shouldn’t be penalized for the defensive contact. The league doesn’t want to blow the
whistle stopping a layup over a little bump.

On the surface that is all well and good, and as I said makes perfect sense. HOWEVER, the concept of
advantage is based only on the relationship between a single defender and the offensive player. If we were
talking about a 1 on 1 tournament, the logic would hold up well. We aren’t. In the NBA today, advantage is gained and
lost as a team.

Using the same example, if I beat my man off the dribble and have half a step on him and he has his arm on my
stomach slowing me down just a tiny, tiny bit, I still have him beat. But in this era of help defense and zone
defense, that tiny, tiny bit of timeI was slowed or pushed a tiny bit off course might not have impacted my
ability to get by my defender, but it may have given a weak side help defenderjust enough time to get in
position to defend or impact me in some way.

Before zone defenses,offenses could take defenders far enough away from the ball to open a lane to the
basket. A bump might not matter. Now they can’t. Defenders can be standing in the paint. They can leave the guy they
are supposed to be guarding (this would have been an illegal defense before) and be close enough that thelittle
bump can make the difference between a layup and a missed or blocked shot or a charge.

It also may have created enough time for a guard at the foul line to V back in front ofa teammate standing
in front of the basket while that teammates defender jumped over tochallenge my shot. My advantage as the
offensive playercould be completely gone in the time lost bythe littlest of bumps.

That is where the rule change needs to happen. Any contact on an offensive player with the ball when going towards
the basket should be a foul. If you hadn’t cut your fingernails and you scrape the offensive player on the way, it’s
a foul. If you graze his arm, it’s a foul.

By making any such contacta foul, you completely remove the officials from having to make judgements about
whether theoffensive player or his team has an advantage. It’s an automatic foul. You open up lanes and you
speed up action to the basket.

This is the point in time where all the fools rush in and talk about how the game would slow to a crawl because
there would be so many fouls. It won’t. Did you notice how Kobeavoided any contact when he got beat off the
ball in overtime when he had 5 fouls? Defenders will make the same point not to foul guys who beat them on
their way to the basket. I don’t know why some people think players aren’t smart enough to adjust to changes in
rules. They have for years, and would with this change as well.

This change wouldn’t slow the game, it would speed up the game. More players would put the ball on the floor and
go to the hoop. Players might actually be able to get to the bucket. When weak side help was there, they actually
might be able to get the ball to a teammate before a 3rd defender came over to help.

On the flip side, how would it hurt? What is the downside? If I’m wrong and players can’t adjust, they will foul
out, there will be more foul shots. More points scored with the clock stopped.Let’s stop the bumping and
pushing and let the players play.

One last point. What made me realize this would have such a big impact came from watching Detroit play defense.
Larry Brown is brilliant. He has his guys push, pull, bump, slap just enough to put the pressure on the officials to
make a call, knowing they will rarely call touch fouls. All creating just enough time for a helpside defender
to come in, or for a defender to get through a pick, or for a shot blocker to get in the lane…Brilliant coaching.
Take advantage of the rules as enforced.

Now its time to change the rules.

2. The next change that I would propose is to always give the benefit of the doubt to the shooter. For
some reason the league has gotten away from calling touches on the elbow, wrist and body. It’s not an easy call to
make because this is one case where it happens so quickly, it’s hard to tell if the shooter got touched or if it
impacted the shot.

Officials often watch the flight of the ball to make a determination if there was contact. That works for
significant contact, but it doesn’t work for just a little touch to the arm or wrist or a push from the hand to the
stomach of side.

My proposal would be to always give the shooter the benefit of the doubt. Shaq shoots his jump hook and
gets hit on the elbow, it’s a foul. Rip Hamilton gets nicked on the side by a defender trying to catch up, give Rip
the benefit of the doubt. Prince goes up to defend Kobe, and the refs aren’t sure if there was enough contact to
affect the shot, doesn’t matter, call the foul. Not calling the foul gives the defender the advantage.I say
give the advantage to the offensives player.

It’s time we realize that we are making it far more difficult on the offensive player and creating a distinct
advantage for the defense. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. Both sides of the ball are supposed to have equal
opportunity to do their job. The league is so talented, if we make it fair for both, scoring will improve

This is the part where the rest of the fools rush in and tell me what they think about the Mavs and our defense
and that’s why I’m writing this. This isn’t about that. Believe it or not, I never try to give the Mavs an
advantage. I plan on owning the team a long, long time. The players and style of play will come and go over the next
25 and more years. Trying to fit the league to the team I have in any given year is stupid and short sited.

I want to make the game a better entertainment product for our customers. If I have to suffer the fools who have
nothing better to do, so be it. I suggest they read a favorite book of mine, The Innovators Dillema.

Track and Field used to be the number 1 sport in America. So did Boxing. There are tons of examples of
entertainment products that took for granted that they would always be in demand and never adjusted to their
customers. I don’t want the NBA to be one more example in a textbook or business class 25 years from now.

32 thoughts on “Increasing Scoring in the NBA

  1. Just saw what may have been the worst half in finals history (game 3).

    Now compare it to the 82 pt half the Mavs had in 03 vs Sac. This is were the league should move to.

    My simple solution – change to five fouls!!! The refs have morphed the rules so much the wrong way over the last 15 years this is a simple way to account for lack of calls.

    Comment by J E Bert -

  2. I like the suggestions you have made and I especially agree with your idea that we need to eliminate the need for referees being forced into making judgement calls. I am not convinced that giving the shooter the benefit of the doubt all the time is the best solution because players are becoming so skilled with ball and shot fakes. I think the competition committee needs to put more thought into opening the court up and providing lanes for our stars to flourish in. Vince Carter is the ultimate example of wasted talent because our league refuses to allow him the opportunity to get to the basket.

    Good luck Cuban in pushing the committee to open its eyes and ears. Something has to be change for me to continue watching this league.

    Comment by Simon Moody -

  3. Find players who can actually make an open jump shot. Of course there isn’t necessarily a rule that can accomplish this so we’ll leave that for another column.

    My first real suggestion would be to make the floor bigger. Players are bigger and stronger now than they were 25 years ago and the space is just too limited. If you make the floor bigger you give the defense more area to have to cover.

    Get rid of zone defense. I actually have no problem with zones but because no one in the league can shoot anymore. Zone D eliminates a lot of scoring because too many teams don’t know or can’t effectively beat a zone because they don’t have anyone who can make a 15 foot jumper.

    Comment by Justin -

  4. what if you changed the number of fouls each person has in a game to 7 or 8? wouldn’t it allow refs to call the game it’s supposed to be call without asking ‘how many fouls shaq has’ and allow players to play defense the way they are supposed to? it would also keep star players like shaq from beating up on people down low b/c he knows they don’t have anymore fouls and he isn’t going to get called for one anyways.

    Comment by jordan -

  5. to say that basketball would be better if it were more like soccer is ludicrous. if you want team play and execution, go watch the WNBA. there’s still plenty of athleticism and grace in the NBA, people just like to bag on it becuase it isn’t what it was like when they came of age. for example, people using shaq as an example of how skills and athleticism have diminished in the NBA. ask any knowledgable basketball person and they will tell you that there have always been power guys in the NBA, what separates shaq from everyone else is his agility in the low post, which of course no one expects. scoring in the nba is a problem, but the answer is not to make it more like soccer. no it’s not that we as americans have shorter attention spans or how we are more susceptible to marketing. we’ve ALWAYS have had short attention spans, and we’ve ALWAYS have been susceptible to marketing and not coincidentally, we’ve ALWAYS not liked soccer.

    Comment by Bob -

  6. I believe its been mentioned that ABC will broadcast it after Monday Night Football now, so yeah, fall.

    Comment by Maarten -

  7. u are a wise man mark.

    by the way, WHEN exactly is the benefactor going to be on tv? i heard you say on the radio july/aug, and then i saw a promo on ABC june, and then i saw another promo for it (run during playoffs) for it to be in the fall.

    WHICH one is it?!?!? =P


    Comment by cali -

  8. With regards to the charge/block circle, I say get rid of it altogether. In fact, get rid of charges altogether. Allow defenders to hold their ground and remove the incentive to flop.

    More details –

    Comment by David Irwin -

  9. a game predicated on the little guy always having a shot at the big guy. Rarely do you see a blow-out (or, boring) game, and that very aspect will always keep soccer the most popular game we know.

    Comment by Mick -

  10. I could not agree more. It is tough to watch a team other then your right now because of all the clutching and grabbing. If I wanted to watch guys hold each other or impede each other I would watch rugby or football. But when you allow only one side to take advantage of the rules the game switches decidetly in there favor. If you want to help the offence why not also allow moving picks. The NBA office needs to take judgment calls out of the refs hands, they have shown they will use it to there own whims. We as customers deserve to know what a foul is and that it will be called all the time. If people are worried about stars fouling out, don’t let them after so many fouls give the other team automatic 2 shots or something else. PLease help the game flow better.

    Comment by Rodney Nash -

  11. Now I must agree with Antone and John (above entries). Our culture has become laden with remedies to mythical diseases. It’s the old trick of the corporate marketer: 1. Create material and call it a necessity and then, 2. Make people conscious of their apparent unconscious needs and wants of said material. The marketing of the supply leads to its own demand. Should the demand not drive the supply? The answer lies in a people’s insecurities with their own self-esteem. For example, how many prescription drug advertisements and promotions were around just 5 years ago? Not many. Why? Because, until just recently, people never realized just how sich they are.

    The same logic can be applied to the NBA. What exactly is wrong with the NBA? Is the NBA on its preverbial deathbed? Nothing is wrong with the NBA, from a sporting standpoint. A fantasy of rules changes that would benefit scoring does not necessarily benefit the game as a whole. A good game is an even game, relative to scoring not quantified by it.

    Soccer is the world’s game because it is a

    Comment by Mick -

  12. I agree wholeheartedly with Antone. I see peoples eyes glaze over when I talk about soccer. Its always that there are so few goals so where is the excitement. If you had 40 goals a game where would the challenge be? Goals would be commonplace and their value lessened.

    Defence is just as important as offence. You need to give the defence tools to do their job. WIthout that you might as well just make it a free throw competition.

    Comment by John -

  13. I could not agree more. There is nothing “classic” about games that end 69-65 where each team shoots well under 40%. Mark is suggesting the playing field is LEVELED, not giving the offense an advantage. Anytime we can take the thought process away from an official, it is a good thing for any sport. Too much of these calls are already “judgement” calls by NBA refs. Asking them to judge then if a players progress is sufficiently impeded by defense to call the foul, or if the shot was sufficiently altered by touching an elbow is dumb. A hit is a foul. Most simple change in the world, it’s right, and it’s easy. Today’s NBA official has not yet identfied what a travel is, now we ask them to make judgement calls that are unnecessary, too?

    Comment by Kyle Thompson -

  14. Stolen from a review of “The Innovators Dilema”
    “There is a certain type of technological innovation that Christensen labels disruptive technology,
    which mainstream customers initially reject.
    Following these customers causes well-managed firms to allow strategic innovations to languish.
    The solution?
    Create a subsidiary entirely focused on the emerging market, one that is free to be visionary
    while courting an unorthodox customer base and staying poised to catch the next great wave of industry growth.”
    Sift through previous blog entries put them together I can argue the following:
    1. You feel obliged to the fans to offer them first rate entertainment.
    2. The NBA Head Office is a mess. If Stern & Co were to follow your suggestions the league as a whole would benefit.
    3. Start-ups do not need alot of capital but they need customers.
    I could go on but I am getting bored. My conclusion-
    START YOUR OWN LEAGUE offer the fan an alternative,become a force to be reckoned with,”somebody is always out to kick your ass”
    Go kick some ass.How freaked out would the NBA get if you were seriuos and posed a threat to their market share!
    I would venture that they would probably adopt some changes rather quickly.
    Thanks for turning me on to Christensen.

    Comment by Dan Again -

  15. I think if the refs just called the games according to the rules, scoring would increase as well. Toward the end of games, you almost have to mug someone to get the foul called. Why should the end of the game be different than any other part of it?

    Looking at game 2 of the finals, everyone is talking about Kobe’s shot. I’m looking at the lakers play just before that. Lakers down 6, Shaq gets a rebound and goes back up for a layup. Sheed rotates over with both arms straight up in the air. They bump, and Shaq gets the bucket and the foul. Why did Sheed get called? He obviously did nothing to impede Shaq. Without that foul, the lakers would still have been down 4.

    I like your idea Mark, I think it will open up a lot of defenses. But I think the first step is to get the refs to call the game according to the rules.

    Comment by Mike -

  16. 1.”Brilliant coaching. Take advantage of the rules as enforced.”
    Interesting point- Nobody suggested this to Don Nelson?
    2.”…creating a distinct advantage for the defense.
    That?s not the way it?s supposed to be”.
    Supposed to be or not the way you would like it to be-that is the question. (Hamlet?)
    Once again if there is a distinct advantage why not exploit it?
    3.”This is the point in time where all the fools rush in and talk about how the game would
    slow to a crawl because there would be so many fouls.”
    ALL the fools have spoken.
    4.”This is the part where the rest of the fools rush in and tell me what they think about the Mavs and our defense
    and that?s why I?m writing this.”
    If all the fools have already spoken -Where did the rest come from?
    Did Yogi write that for you?
    If I am not mistaken previous entries explain how Ref tendencies
    are noted an used in adjusting game strategies. Y/N
    Fight for rules changes. Until such changes are adopted would it not make more sense to
    “Take advantage of the rules as enforced.”
    A Fool with nothing better to do.

    Comment by Dan -

  17. You haven’t mentioned Shaq’s offensive philosophy.

    He takes his 7-1, 480 pound body and
    his defender until he is so close to the basket that he can’t miss.

    Isn’t this an offensive foul? If you always give the shooter the benefit of the doubt, won’t the game digress into throwing the ball into the paint, letting some huge guy (or strong guard like Mark Jackson used to be)endlessly bump his defender into a favorable position on the floor?

    Owners have created the problem. Coaches are fired on a whim. So, the only way for a coach to protect his job is to institute a defensive philosophy that allows the less talented team to slow down the more talented team.

    Your team is constantly criticized for “not playing defense” when it should be praised for it. It’s what makes me a MFFL.

    If owners truly wanted to speed up the game someone would hire Rick Barry or Paul Westhead to coach their team. I don’t see team’s knocking down Westhead or Barry’s doors.

    Comment by Scott -

  18. BAsketball as any other thing will become such a game as those who pay money whant it to. It is a commercial sport.

    Comment by James -

  19. I believe the toughest area to officiate is the post. Most officials are little guys and never played in the post. Most coaches are guards and never played in the post.

    Post play now is a wrestling match. It illustrates how the game is moving.

    Watch the ESPN Classic games: basketball was a game of grace and skill and athleticism.

    Now, basketball is turning into a game of power and speed.

    It has lost its gracefulness and finesse, as it is nearly impossible for a great player to make a post move as he gets held and pushed by his defender and doubled by a weakside defender.

    Cleaning up the post play would help. I like guard play as much as anyone, but I’d still love to see more players using kareem’s sky hook or Hakeem’s Dream Shake or McHale’s Up and Under. Instead, it’s drop-step bodies banging and a dunk, foul or blocked shot.

    It’s ugly basketball.

    The other way to increase scoring starts with the coaches loosening the reign and allowing players to play. Nobody runs the floor anymore. Defenses send 3-4 players back on the shot and eliminate the fast break. Teams walk the ball down court and run set plays. Many shots are taken inside of 7 seconds on the shot clock.

    I don’t know if there is a rule change to offset this domineering of the players, but coaches must relent and allow players to play. It is more entertaining and more befitting the strengths of today’s players, most of whom grow up playing thousands of AAU games which is little more than a series of 3 v 2 fast breaks.

    Comment by Brian McCormick -

  20. As a person who grew up playing soccer, I don’t have a problem with low-scoring sports. Personally, I dislike rules that give the offensive player an advantage. They seem to cater to people with bigger bodies and showboaters. I prefer watching teams like the Utah Jazz, who are all about team play and execution. The Lakers are my least favorite team because they play well enough through the year to get into the playoffs, but don’t seem interested in applying their considerable talent to come together as a team until the playoffs. I hate the charge line–added to increase the number of slam dunks, I presume. I wouldn’t complain if the rule were that you can’t take a charge inside the arc, but having it automatically be a block it ridiculous. I’d prefer for teams have to earn their slam dunks.

    Comment by Antone Roundy -

  21. Owners have created the problem. Coaches are fired on a whim. So, the only way for a coach to protect his job is to institute a defensive philosophy that allows the less talented team to slow down the more talented team.

    Comment by wow powerleveling -

  22. Asking them to judge then if a players progress is sufficiently impeded by defense to call the foul, or if the shot was sufficiently altered by touching an elbow is dumb. A hit is a foul. Most simple change in the world, it’s right, and it’s easy. Today’s NBA official has not yet identfied what a travel is, now we ask them to make judgement calls that are unnecessary, too?

    Comment by runescape money -

  23. Increasing Scoring taking cialis

    Comment by cialis -

  24. I can’t be bothered with anything lately. I feel like an empty room. Oh well.

    Comment by calling card -

  25. I don’t know about these finer points or techniques to increase total points. But to make the game more exciting, give the players incentive to make it more exciting. Institute a “player of the game” and a cash prize for the winner. But have the audience vote for the player of the game, as is done in the “Last Comic Standing”!!! Let the players “play the floor” and they’ll eventually “create” a more exciting game.

    Eventually, the players will probably get wise and decide amonst them who’ll do “showtime” that game. But authenticate the audience voting and require a minimum vote count….

    Comment by musaland -

  26. The thing that really bothers me is when the ref waits to
    see if the shot goes in before calling the foul. Why? If
    it was a foul, call it. Just because it goes in, it still
    was a foul.

    OK, another peave, it seems that you can be mauled after the
    clock expires. It seems like once the clock expires, they
    just run off the court. If you go up for a shot, get the shot
    off cleanly, but then are knocked on your ass, I think that
    should be a foul.

    Last, on continuation. I truly believe that if you are fouled,
    then travel, but make the bucket, the shot should not count.
    I don’t know why they frequently discount travelling after a
    foul. I’m saying the guy should still get two free throws,
    but a bucket should not count if the guy travels, even if
    he was fouled.

    Comment by Robbie Barton -

  27. Hi Mark, you have some excellent points in your basketball messages.

    I think anything to discourage taking offensive charges would be a good rule like removing the block/ charge line.

    I think keeping player fouls should be done away with altogether. Eliminate player foul trouble and fouling out for players. Just increase the penalties for each foul that a team commits. Like eventually after 5 fouls everytime a team commits a foul they lose 1 or 2 seconds from their shot clock. Or after 7 fouls the opposing team gets 3 to make 2 free throws. Or your first free throw is live. Or make it legal for one team to play 3 seconds in the lane. Or choose whoever they want from their team to shoot free throws on non shot at the basket penalties. Discourage fouling by making penalities hurt teams badly.
    Change penalty shots, 2 shots after 5 fouls, too.

    My idea to increase scoring is change the 3 point line keeping it the same 23′ 9″ distance it is now except make it a uniform distance. It will not go straight down the sideline (which is a shorter distance). It will end when it hits the sideline. Then there will be a lot of space in the corner which will be long 2 point shots. It will increase scoring because if the offensive player goes out there, the defensive player won’t really guard him so closely since it is a long shot, & only worth 2 points. So defenses will be glad to give up these shots yet offensive players will also go to this spot because they know they will have less contested offense. So the results will be that the offensive spacing will be better when 1 or 2 players are that far from the basket which always equals more offense. Also, misses from side shots lead to fast breaks.

    Comment by Sammy -

  28. The incidental fouls is a good idea on paper, but it would be way to easy to exploit. Not only would it make it easy for anyone to get a shot off, they would go to the free throw line every time they tried. You’re complaining about drawn out games, think of how much longer it would be with that?

    I completely agree with Wade, the level of competition is more important than the final score. Personally, i enjoy watching Tayshaun Prince coming out of nowhere to block Reggie Miller ten times better than watching Kobe hitting a prayer.

    Comment by Rob -

  29. I admired you, Mark, for the outspokenness and creativity and energy that you had brought into the NBA; however, I had never thought of you as the model of sagacity in basketball–now I have even less reason to think so.

    The NBA does not need to increase scoring. In my opinion, the emphasis on defense has made the game a more enjoyable product, albeit lower-scoring. Zone defenses has made it necessary to play as a team. Despite countless “experts” claiming that stars win championships, I am glad that the Pistons have a chance this year to prove them wrong. Sure, the lower-scoring, grind-em-out style of basketball might drive casual/bandwagon fans away, but that only matters to your bottom-line and ticket-sales, not our (the real basketball fans’) enjoyment.

    However, getting rid the charge semicircle sounds like a good idea to me. If your feet is set and your body isn’t leaning one way or the other, then it’s a charge; if the offensive player lowers his shoulder and drives into the defender, then it’s a charge; regardless of where you are.

    Getting rid of the incidental contact–I can’t even believe someone would even suggest this! Yes, scoring would increase, but the game would become unwatchable. Players like Dajuan Wagner and Ricky Davis with all explosiveness and no skills would lead the league in scoring; and players like Cassel and Malone who thrive on contact and leverage wouldn’t see half the play-off games they did; Shaq would miss 40 free-throws a game, and NBA would revert back to the dark age of iso-left followed by iso-right. Is this the kind of basketball you like to market to fans? Let’s face it, basketball is a contact sport. If you don’t think drop steps are graceful, I recommend figure skating.

    Not a basketball purist or old school by any means, just like watching Larry Brown ball, who even coached the Clippers to the playoffs in the late 90’s. Go Clips! We’re #2!

    Comment by Jeff -

  30. Some interesting points here. As a long time NBA fan, I feel I have to chime in on a few of them.

    1) More scoring. I don’t buy that this is needed. I’ve enjoyed this year’s playoffs as much as any. I think strong, aggressive defense adds a serious level of competitiveness to games. You have to work to make a basket. Scratch that, you have to work to even get a shot. I think why you’re seeing players miss open jumpers is because they’ve expended so much energy already just to get open. Anyway, what is better than watching Reggie Miller or Rip Hamilton flying around four screens on one possession just to get a shot off. I love it. I should also mention that some of the best games I’ve attended in my life have been Big 10 basketball games with scores below the 100 point mark. And that was both teams combined.

    2) Incidental Fouls. I think this extreme would make things too easy for the offense. Basketball players are too good for this. Almost every basketball player in the league can shoot. Especially given the space to do so. What I like about the NBA right now is that you have to do more than that. You have to be able to fight through defenders. You have to be able to make shots with a little bit of contact. You have to be a better competitor. You can’t win with simply good offense. You have to be able to dig deep and outcompete your opponent.

    3) Competition. In my opinion this is the key to good basketball. Hell, its the key to all great sporting events. Every player on both teams must be giving every thing they have at all times. And they must need to do that in order to win. You shouldn’t be able to coast. And you shouldn’t have individual matchups that are so mismatched that players are able to coast. I think we should be talking about ways to make the league more competitive, not increase scoring. And I personally feel that the NBA is going the wrong direction here. There is no reason to be adding more teams. Imagine the league with say 3 fewer teams. That means that 15 starters and probably 5 to 10 solid bench players would have to find spots on other teams. Every team now has better starters and a better bench. And worthless bench players no longer exist. I believe this would increase the competition. And with increased competition comes the things that make the game great; heated rivalries, heroic performances, 7 game series.

    4) Lastly I’d like to point out a few ideas thrown out here that are intriguing to me. I agree with Scott Duffy that the last few minutes of games are far too drawn out. Why not take away some of the coaches time outs? Put the responsibility on the coaches to coach their players off the court so that they are prepared for these situations. Also its too easy for coaches to stop or slow opponents runs throughout the games by using timeouts. Force the coaches to make their adjustments on the court during play.

    I also don’t see the harm in switching to 5 fouls. Finally, David Irwin’s idea on the charge is fascinating. Remove the charge and the blocking foul completely. Allow players to hold their ground (provided they’re not moving and keep their hands off the other player) and also allow the offensive player to run into the other player without a charge call. I don’t know who would really benefit from this. But it would certainly provide some entertaining physical encounters.

    Comment by Wade -

  31. The NBA dosen’t need more fouls called. We need more field goals scored!!!!! All this would do is increase the ft’s per shot per game.

    Comment by Manuel -

  32. I posted a more detailed entry on my blog. Click on my name above to read it.

    Here’s my 2 cents on what’s wrong with basketball.

    1) Often, the last 2 minutes of the game take 30 minutes to play. That’s way too slow. The last two minutes of a basketball game are the slowest 2 game minutes in sports. Zzzz…

    2) With less than 5 minutes to go, no matter what the score, either team can win. This drives me crazy. A team can be up by 20 points, but the other team still has a chance to win. What’s the point of watching (or even playing) the first 40 minutes of the game?

    3) The intentional foul. This just lets the losing team have one more chance to get back in the game (see #2 above) and slows the game down (see #1). The offensive team should get to keep the ball after a free throw – that will cut down on fouls, speeding the game up.

    4) While I’m on the subject, this whole concept of “team fouls”, where fouls over a certain limit cause free throws while fouls under the limit don’t. So sometimes a team has “fouls to give“, near the end of a quarter. Fouls to give. What a stupid concept.

    5) While writing this, I looked up the official rules of the game. Maybe it’s just me, but the rules are WAY too complicated. I bet most fans watching the game don’t know all the rules.

    When Dr. James Naismith wrote the original 13 rules for basketball, it was simple. I’m not suggesting we go back to that, but when you compare the mechanics of the game (put the ball in the basket) with the rules of the game, it looks like it’s gotten out of hand.

    6) After reading another comment above, I agree that there are too many lines on the court. That’s another sign that the rules are too complex.

    Comment by Scott Duffy -

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