This promises to be a big summer for instant replay as the NBA seeks more ways to use it during games ...
"We need a combination of replay and some timing mechanism better than a simple stopwatch,'' said
The league was pursuing this technology before the incident in Detroit. Its use will be examined by the competition committee in June. The fear of a similar fourth-quarter mishap in the NBA Finals should inspire everyone to seek a resolution as quickly as possible.
"Some [on the competition committee] felt that it could cause more rough play under the basket, and others didn't see a reason to change the [goaltending] rule as we have it now,'' Jackson said. "But it will remain on our radar for coming years.''
In other words, we may yet see this rule in the NBA someday soon. I am in favor of it as an exciting play that would bring athleticism to the other end of the floor -- the defensive version of the dunk. And it couldn't be dismissed as a gimmick because this rule has been the norm for basketball around the world.
"Now, if you're making the case that we should bring in replay to review all flagrant fouls, that's something we would be open to. That could be brought to the competition committee this year.''
"We all talk about that so much, and we all go back and forth with it,'' Popovich told me last year. "The court is so doggone crowded the way it is now, I think it would really limit what goes on out here. When you think about post play, it would really take it away. There are some advantages [to the international lane], but overall guys are too big. If the court got bigger, you could do it.''
Jackson believes FIBA wasn't looking to synchronize with the NBA so much as it wanted to create more space for offensive players around the basket. FIBA also implemented the no-charge zone -- the dotted semi-circle under the basket.
"As hard as the no-charge zone has been to officiate,'' Jackson said, "it has benefited our game and incentivized guys to drive to the rim, and it has cut down on the number of injuries by players taking charges under the rim.''
FIBA also extended its three-point line from the current 20 feet, 6.1 inches to 22 feet, 1.7 inches. FIBA plans to further extend its line over the next 10 years to the NBA distance of 23-9.
There has been talk that the NBA may instead shorten its three-point shot to meet FIBA 2010 specifications. But Jackson doesn't sound as if he's in favor of that.
"We're now attempting more three-point shots and shooting a higher percentage from the three-point line than we have in the history of that shot,'' he said. "Having the three-point line has helped the spacing in our game.''
Well, didn't that strike a nerve!
I talk every day to "true/knowledgeable observers'' who work in the league -- coaches, executives, scouts and players -- and I truly don't hear anyone complaining that Nash is overrated or undeserving of his reputation as one of the NBA's best players. Defense has obviously been his weakness, but it's not like he has played alongside excellent defenders either. His teams have always been built to win with offense, and in that context, the good provided by Nash has far outweighed the bad. That's how I feel about it, and that's also the gist I hear from true/knowledgeable observers.
And yet, I receive an inordinate amount of e-mail decrying Nash as overrated. So last week I wondered if
Because let's be honest: It's a long list of NBA stars who could be criticized for their defense. But the likes of
I don't know anybody (except you) who ever has suggested he could be one of the top 11 players of all time, and I don't see how anyone could translate two exceptional seasons into that kind of ranking. The MVP awards recognized his work for two seasons; it's not a career award.
Thank you for your well-framed argument. I don't agree with all of it, but it's fair.
I couldn't agree with you more. What Popovich has done year after year puts him -- along with
There are some people in the league who truly believe that the West's superiority is itself overrated, on the basis of having so many bad teams at the bottom of the conference. But I disagree: The East was lousy this year.
It will change eventually. Not so long ago eight of the 10 championships were won by the East, and then
I don't think hatred is involved. Bowen's work does not go unnoticed as he's made the All-Defensive teams the last seven years. But there are a lot of people who view Bowen as a dirty player. My opinion is that he should have won at least one Defensive Player of the Year award. But if it hasn't happened by now, it never will.
If the playoffs were best-of-five or even best-of-three, then upsets would be welcome, because an explosive but inconsistent team like the Hawks is much easier to watch in short bursts than over a 10-day span. For better or for worse, however, this league has been designed to keep the best players and teams on the court for as long as possible.