Even for those of us who are die-hard basketball junkies, the final two minutes of a close NBA game can drag. With the advent of video review, every close play — especially out-of-bounds calls, those plays are automatic review triggers — has referees scurrying to the video replay table. Throw in an assortment of fouls with free throws, and a couple of timeouts that go to commercial, and you could smoke an entire brisket during the final two minutes of a game.
The NBA is looking to tighten that up by having out-of-bounds plays become coach’s challenges, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.
To be more accurate, it will eliminate some of the prolonged stoppages. Still, expect it to get unanimous approval from the owners.
The coach’s challenge system could use some tweaks itself, but those do not seem to be forthcoming. Most obviously, if a coach uses a challenge and gets it right (the call is overturned) then he should keep that challenge (right now, they still lose their lone challenge). Maybe give the coaches a second challenge since they now have to make the call on late-game out-of-bounds plays.
This is a step in the right direction. It’s not easy finding the right balance. The NBA wants to get the calls right but doesn’t want to review everything. A little less time at the video board will be good for the flow late in games; let’s just hope a coach still has that challenge when he needs it.
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NBA may make reviewing out-of-bounds in last 2 minutes a coach’s challenge only originally appeared on NBCSports.com