By: Zachary Bigger
For the 2010-11 season, the NBA Development League tested out two new rules: making offensive goaltending legal and also shortening the overtime period from five to three minutes. Among other things they have experimented with in the D-League is the new synthetic game ball that was used briefly in the NBA for the 2006-2007 season. While some decisions have worked out and others have failed, here are a few ideas the NBA D-League should consider implementing:
1.) Reducing Game Time From 48 to 40 Minutes
Why? Grantland writer Zach Lowe does a great job of summarizing the case for this rule change. To quickly sum up what he is discussing: NBA game times are nearing Major League Baseball game times of almost three hours. Basketball is a game of rhythms and flows, not meant to drone on by the seemingly 537 TV timeouts during the game. While D-League games are shorter in length, the D-League is also the first place that the NBA tests new rules. With this extreme of a rule change, it will be tested in the D-League and not just decided to be implemented immediately at the start of a new season.
Additionally, the reduced amount of game play will result in increased unpredictability, which is what any league wanting competitive parity wants. This increases the odds that any team can lose on any given night, and that nothing should be taken for granted. It will jam pack the action of a game and would require less of a time commitment for the fans, so they can enjoy the intensity of a game while not giving up an entire evening to view it.
2.) One-and-One Free Throws
This idea was brought up by Kevin Arvonitz on his Truehoop video blog earlier this year, and I believe it is a great way to make every time someone touches the basketball, both sides have something to play for. NBA teams average 22.2 free throw attempts per game, about 11 per game by each side. Why not shorten this by rewarding good free throw shooters and punishing bad ones by make it one-and-one?
The incorporation of a one-and-one free throw system would mean that players would not be standing around waiting for the first free throw to be taken. Second, it means that there would be less stoppage time in a game, shortening the overall time the game takes to be played. Third, it eliminates the easiest shot in the game, a standing still 15 footer where no one contests the shot and only one player is involved instead of the potential for many on either side with an assist, steal, block, etc.
3.) Strictly Enforce the Ten-Second Time Limit Between Free Throws
I believe this is necessary because today everyone has there free throw rituals, have to high five their teams, take a look at there friends, then finally take a shot. Lets try to speed the game up, not bog it down and ruin what makes basketball so special: a well flowing display of marksmanship and athleticism.
4.) Expanding the Three-Point Line in the Corners from 22′ to 23′ 9”
The NBA three-point line unlike college (19′ 9”) and FIBA (22′ 1”) is not standard across the court, yet corner threes are worth the same amount of points. Three pointers continue to rise across the NBA as teams realize the value in them, with Miami attempting over 21 shots behind the arc per game. While teams nailing threes at high rates is great, why should the line in the corners be shorter than from the top of the arc?
I believe the D-League should experiment taking away the corner three, because it is the best points per shot value of any shot in basketball. It would force teams to drive and slash to the hoop more often to get the other high value shots such as layups and dunks. The results would I believe increased showcasing of the great level of improvisation and athleticism in the D-League and NBA.