Around the League

MF-Mike and Mike-7MAR2013

Ask the Czar

Jonathan from Washington D.C. has a question about sideline strategies:

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?

It boils down to whether the coaching staff would rather have their own offense or the opposing team’s offense in front of their bench during the second half so they can yell out calls to their players and help them out in critical moments.

Some coaches feel it is more important to direct their team’s offense at the end of the game when execution potentially matters most. However, when I was coaching I usually preferred to have our defense in front of us so that we could communicate with our guys after the opposing guard called out a play. Once we knew what was coming we could signal from the sidelines to help our team make defensive stops and prevent game-winning baskets.

Ask the Czar

Great question from my man Paxton:

Hi. I am a fifth grader and I am working on a science fair project. I have a question for you. Do you think it’s easier shooting with a net or without one?

Thanks for your thought-provoking question Paxton. I don’t know the science behind it, but I do believe it’s easier to sink a shot when there’s a net than it is to make a basket without one.

Good luck at the fair. Hope your project is a slam dunk!

Copyright 2003 NBAE - Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/ NBAE via Getty Images

Ask The Czar

Ronnie from Alcoa wants to know:

When is someone going to address the referee situation and the need for some type of replay or conference between officials to get calls right, especially at key times of games?

The NBA first instituted instant replay prior to the 2002-03 season in order to review last second shots and fouls at the end of each period. The topic of instant replay comes up every year, and we’ve seen the NBA Board of Governors continue to make modifications to the rules over each of the last few seasons in order to ensure that accurate calls are made. Including the most recent modifications, the league now uses 11 different triggers for instant replay review. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Board of Governors takes another look at some of the controversial calls that impacted games this season. If they feel that the instant replay rules in place right now are insufficient, they may expand them or add new ones in order to better enable officials to get calls right. But for better or worse, human error is a part of the game.

Czar Trivia

Picked up a fun fact from the NBA Encyclopedia: There is only one time in the history of professional sports that any player played for both teams in the same game. And that instance occurred in the NBA on this day in 1979, when the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Nets replayed the final 17:50 of their contest that was originally played on November 8, 1978 due to a protest being upheld.

When the game began on November 8, Harvey Catchings and Ralph Simpson played for the 76ers while Eric Money and Al Skinner played for the Nets. But all four were traded to the opposing teams by the time the Sixers-Nets game was resumed on March 23.