Jonathan from Washington DC has a great question:
I notice for most NBA games the visiting team selects to shoot at its own basket in the first half compared to high school or college when teams don’t shoot at their own basket until the second half. What is the competitive advantage gained by a team shooting at its own basket in the first half compared to waiting until the second half?
Whether a team would rather have their offense or defense in front of their bench in the second half of a game depends on how the coaches feel they can best help out their players from the sidelines.
In a close game some coaches prefer to have their offense in front of them in the last half so they can call out plays and give directives during the crucial final minutes.
When I was coaching I usually liked to have the other team’s offense and our defense in front of our bench at the end of a game. Once we heard the opposing team’s guard call a play we let our guys know what was coming so they could break it up and stop them from scoring.