There are so many rules in the NBA that are different from the NCAA that it feels as though it is a completely different game. These are all put in place to ensure that the games are higher scoring, that the superstars score more points and that people are entertained. Here are a few of them:
a. The Continuation Rule—If you get fouled on the floor, the foul should be on the floor. The NBA has come up with a way to get these superstar players to the free throw line more often, raising their scoring averages. Players get an additional two steps after being fouled in order to “complete the play,” which means “shoot the ball and draw the shooting foul.” I disagree with this on many levels, but mostly because it is just another way to get the superstars more points.
b. Defensive Three Seconds—In regular basketball, the defense can camp out in the lane, but in the NBA, there is a defensive three seconds rule. This prevents a team from putting a big guy in the lane to step in and stop a driving offensive player. Why do they do this? Because the NBA discourages defense, not openly, but with the rules that they have in place.
This rule, like many of the other rules, prevents teams from actually playing good defense, as they would normally have someone in the lane to prevent LeBron James from taking a clear path for an open dunk. Players are late in rotating over because of this rule, which leads to higher-flying dunks, more highlights, higher-scoring games and an entertained crowd.
c. 6 fouls—The NBA knows that people want to see the superstars play longer, so they gave them an extra foul. This means that they can play longer into games in order to score more points and keep that crowd entertained.
This also means that players can be a bit more careless when it comes to fouling because they have an extra one to give. They tend to play defense a bit more relaxed which leads to getting beat to the basket and, once again, more scoring opportunities for the superstar offensive players.
d. 24 -second shot clock—True basketball fans, in my opinion, enjoy watching a good defensive struggle from time to time. For me, I enjoy watching a game between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Purdue Boilermakers that ends in a 55-50 score. This means that the game was played how it was meant to be played, with good defense.
Most people do not share my love for defense, which is why the NBA uses a 24-second shot clock. This means that more shots will go up and there will be more changes of possession, which both result in higher scoring games.
Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan somehow imparts to his team the importance of playing defense for 35 seconds. If not, they give up more points and lose more games. Can you imagine NBA defenders, who sell out for the blocked shot way more often than they should, trying to defend for 11 more seconds than they are required to now? That would be a disaster.
e. Timeout taken at half court—This is a rule only applied with under two minutes remaining in the 4th quarter or overtime. In my opinion, an inbounds pass should be granted where the timeout was taken. This rule allows the offensive team to advance the ball 3 seconds up the court without even having to inbound the ball.
It is a free advancement; why? Because it leads to higher-scoring games, better chance for overtime, a chance for the superstars to set their feet and get a good shot rather than shoot a runner, and much more.
People will often talk about how “great” a finish was to an NBA game, but if you take a look at Bryce Drew’s game winner in the 1998 NCAA tournament, you will see a great finish to a game. This rule takes finishes like this out of the question and makes “great finishes” more frequent, and therefore less “great.”
f. Sometimes it is not a change in the rules that gets me irritated, but the officials bending or ignoring the rules. The lack of traveling calls in the NBA just astounds me. In the beginning of the 4th quarter of Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Dwayne Wade switched pivot feet 3 times with no travel called…IN THE NBA FINALS. This means that the best officials in the world were there, and they could not see a travel that was right in front of them.
Watch this video to see if you can spot it. If that doesn’t make you sick as a basketball fan, I am not sure what will. Here are some other examples of this rule not being enforced, all for your enjoyment. 1. 2. 3.
Also, how many times does someone step in the lane on a free throw before the ball leaves the shooter’s hand? This is supposed to be a lane violation but is rarely, if ever, called. Don’t believe me? Watch the free throws carefully in the next NBA game you watch, you will see what I mean.