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NBA Coaches Discuss Potential Rule Tweaks and Changes

The NBA’s competition committee spent most of Wednesday’s session talking about all the little differences of FIBA basketball they noticed during the Rio Olympics. All talk about NBA predictions was sidelined in favor of conversations about possible rule changes.

Alvin Gentry lingered on the so-called ‘hack-a’ fouls compromise, already legislated into the 2016-2017 NBA season. The NBA intends to extend its protocols to encompass all four quarters (instead of just the last two) with the aim of discouraging the intentional fouling of players struggling at the free throw line.

Teams on the receiving end of such fouls (away from the ball) can look forward to being awarded a free throw and ball possession. According to Commissioner Adam Silver, this rule was crafted primarily in response to fans who have complained about the monopoly of the tactic and stoppages of play.

Some people have complained, however, that the new rule actually aims to reward players with the inability to consistently make free throws, which these basketball purists consider unacceptable.

Gentry, the New Orleans Pelicans Coach, weighed in on the issue this week, suggesting that it was a logical strategy for a player to take advantage of his opponent’s inability to shoot free throws. And it makes no sense to tie a coach’s ability to deploy effective strategies.

Certainly, this strategy isn’t exactly entertaining or cosmetically appealing but every team in every basketball game cares more about doing what it takes to win than looking good in the process.

For all the noise made about the issue, this wasn’t the only rule change discussed. The NBA asked coaches to make suggestions about notable rule changes they would like to see, or even rules they would like to tweak.

Steve Clifford (Charlotte) thought that the action could be sped up if it was possible to advance the ball in the last two minutes of the game without requiring a timeout to be called.

Brett Brown (Philadelphia) and Tom Thibodeau (Minnesota) like FIBA’s offensive rebounds rule change where the shot clock resets to 14 seconds instead of 24. As with Clifford, these two coaches, who have a lot of experience with international Basketball, believe that such a rule change would speed up the game.

Mike Malone (Denver) wanted players to be able to take a live ball off the rim, while David Fizdale (Memphis) doesn’t think a referee needs to touch a ball before it can be rebounded (after a made basketball).

Dwane Casey (Toronto) and Frank Vogel (Orlando) think that the NBA could do so much more to discourage offensive players who create unnecessary contact in search of

foul calls. Nate McMillian (Who replaces Vogel with the Indiana Pacers) doesn’t like the way players subbing in after timeouts can just stroll onto the floor without checking in at the scorer’s table. The approach gives teams too many chances to hide the players coming into any given game, and McMillian would like to see a rule tweak as a result.

A lot of anonymous coaches complained about the excessive number of timeouts, this while Jason Kidd (Milwaukee) suggested the popular idea of increasing court coverage for foul calls by introducing four referees.