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#pounditMonday, February 26, 2024

NBA reportedly likely to make 1 big rule change for next season

Adam Silver speaking

Jun 2, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver talks to media before game one of the 2022 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

We may be seeing much more in-game litigation starting next NBA season.

Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus reported Monday that there is one particular NBA rule change that is seen as “most likely” for next season — allowing head coaches to keep their challenge if successful on the first attempt.

The NBA implemented the “coach’s challenge” in the 2019-20 season. It allows for head coaches to challenge one call made by the officials every game (no-calls cannot be challenged however). The officials then go to instant replay and determine whether the call was correct or incorrect.

The coach’s challenge has been a big net positive in terms of ensuring that more correct calls are made. But only having one challenge per game can hurt. Let’s say for example that the officials make an atrociously bad call in the first quarter. The head coach of the aggrieved team knows that he will win if he decides to challenge the call. But he will still be hesitant to do so because using up the challenge that early means he will no longer have it at his disposal for a potentially decisive moment late in the game. Allowing coaches to keep their challenge if they win would eliminate that dilemma.

Plenty of pivotal games have already swung on coach’s challenges. Now the expected rule change for the 2023-24 season will make it so that coaches can challenge away in the early going (at least when justified to do so) … without the fear of it coming back to bite them down the stretch.

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