|The NBA is considering adding goaltending to it list of instant replay eligible calls inside the final two minutes. (Getty Images)|
David Stern was in Phoenix on Tuesday and spoke on a rule change the NBA's competition committee of the Board of Governors is considering. The biggest discussion point for the NBA's rules establishment at the moment concerns goaltending.
David Stern has been advocating for some time for the NBA's adoption of European goaltending rules, which state that once the ball hits the rim, it's in play. It wouldn't change the "against the glass" ruling or anything regarding a shot on it's downward trajectory, but it would eliminate the offensive basket interference and allow for players to tap a ball on its bounce out of the cylinder.
But ProBaskeballTalk.com reports that the competition committee is still resisting that rule change, despite the rule having been test-driven in the NBA D-League. Instead there are expected to be changes to the instant replay system which would allow for goaltending to be reviewable. But like most of the new replay rules, the system would only apply to the last two minutes. As Stern told reporters Tuesday:
Stern said that there's a growing sentiment to make these types of plays reviewable only in the last two minutes of a game. The problem there is, of course, the fact that doing so might send a conflicted message.
“It's ironic with how many of our fans would be satisfied in doing more just in the last two minutes,” Stern said. “And that's something that we sort of resisted, but we're getting pulled along. Because it counts the same in the first two minutes as the last, and we counsel our officials that a foul's a foul (no matter when it occurs). And sort of saying, ‘oh yes, but the last two minutes is different,' is sort of an interesting route.
“But, it's true. Our fans are saying the last two minutes should be treated differently. So we're going to look at it, and see what's going on.”
via David Stern says league will discuss adding goaltending calls to instant replay list | ProBasketballTalk.
The Blazers lost to the Suns earlier this year due to a faulty goaltending ruling that could have been reviewed and corrected. You have to think that the Euroleague rules, as radical as they are, might be in the best interest of the game, however. If a shot comes off the rim and bounces high off the glass and in, the shooter gets credit for it, but it's not like he nailed it clean. There's no reason to disallow an opponent from reaching up and tapping that thing out.
Even more interesting is the fact that the "in the cylinder" designation itself has a vague definition. The league has informed me before that the idea is that if any part of the ball is in the cylinder, it's a violation. But if the ball is clearly coming out, why is that illegal? And can officials on the ground really get a good enough vantage point to determine if any part of the ball is in the cylinder?
The NBA will keep looking at this in search of a more perfect basketball game, but in the meantime, get ready for some more in-game delays.