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Each season the NBA makes a half dozen or so rule changes, most often these are minor rule changes which donít affect the game at all, but sometimes these new rules have revolutionized the game of basketball. There have been at least 10 major rule changes which have changed the game beyond most of our comprehension, unless you watched the game before some of these rules were added you would have no idea what I mean.

Of the 10 major rule changed which completely affected the game, I narrowed down my list to just five. Five rule changes which have mostly benefitted the league and the game of basketball.

#5 Addition free throws after the teams fifth foul.
This rule, also known as the penalty, is one of the more unpopular ones. Many fans feel that this gives the referees to much control on a game, they feel that the refs could get a team into the penalty early than continually call ticky-tack fouls giving the opposing team free throws. But the season this rule exists is so that teams donít constantly reach to try to get steals. This has allowed the game to speed up, and it actually helps to limit the number of fouls in a game.

#4 Three Point line.
Originally something from the American Basketball Association, the three point line was adopted by the NBA prior to the 79-80 season. The addition of the three point line opened up the paint for big men and guards, and it made teams which left players open on the perimeter pay.

In recent years the three point line has been the issue of contention for many, some feel that itís to inviting for players to stand on the perimeter and just shoot threes. The NBA has addressed this issue and has moved the line back a couple of times.

#3 Widening the lane from six to twelve feet, than from twelve to sixteen feet.
Before 1952 basketball was a big mans game, guards couldnít get inside easily without being fouled hard or having their shots deflected. This was because the big guys down low would crowed the paint. In 1952 the NBA widened the lane from six feet to twelve, the doubling of the lane saw an offensive explosion in the NBA, guards who once couldnít get into the paint found it relatively easy to get in there.

The League widened the lane again twelve years later, taking it from twelve feet to sixteen feet. This once again increased scoring for the guards, but it did hurt the points output from the big men for a couple of years.

Without these changes the NBA game would still be dominated by the big guys, guards would still be on the perimeter and the game would be a lot slower than it is today.

#2 Banning Zone Defense
When the BAA(Basketball Association of America) banned zone defense in the winter of Ď47 some basketball fans thought they were mad. This changed defense completely, and destroyed old time-tested defensive schemes. When the BAA merged with the National Basketball League in 1949 to form the Nation Basketball Association, this rule was kept. The impact of this rule has lead to speedier games, better defense, and more scoring.

#1 Shot clock
No invention in the history of sports has had more of an impact on a sport than the shot clock has had on basketball. This simple device revolutionized the game, not just professionally, but also collegially.

Legend states that the NBA added the shot clock after the Fort Wayne Pistons beat the Minneapolis Lakers 19-18, in the lowest scoring game in league history on November 22, 1950, This isnít true however, the league didnít add the shot clock until the 54-55 season, nearly four years after the infamous game. The game did have an impact on the concept of the shot clock, following the game many people around the league realized something had to be done to keep teams from holding the ball all game like the Pistons did.

The clock can still be found today, and itís still affecting the way teams run their offense. With only 24 second to get a play off the offense must hurry, this has lead to increase scoring and a much faster tempo game.