Where Amazing Happens? Not Quite…

April 19, 2010

It’s been over a week since my last post, and for the first time ever, I actually had people asking me when I was going to post next. Granted, they were probably just giving me crap, but it feels nice all the same to know that at least someone besides me is reading my work. So once again (since I’ve done this shout out before), thank you to all of my readers for your support.

The NBA playoffs are well underway, and I’ll be honest; I haven’t watched a game yet. Not one. For the last few weeks leading up to the playoffs, I’ve been arguing with people as to why I don’t think the NBA playoffs (or the NBA in general) are all that interesting. At least not the first round. Before I start watching anything but the NBA Finals, here are some things that David Stern should institute to make the game better.

Fix the Age Rule

Take it away completely? Actually, quite the opposite. The NBA needs to make a rule similar to the NFL, where a player must be at least 21 years old or have completed his junior year of eligibility for the NCAA in order to enter the draft. There is something wrong with a professional league where 19 and 20 year olds are able to master the game and be stars immediately out of high school. How many 19 and 20 year olds do you see making an impact for teams in the MLB and NFL? A hell of a lot less than there are in the NBA, that’s for sure.

Widen the Lane

You know what I see when, on rare occasion, I watch an NBA game on TV? Either a player dribbles around a little and then shoots a 20 footer, or a lazy dump pass is made into the lane, where a post player drops in an easy two footer. The NBA needs to become more of a team game; there is too much one-on-one play. A good way to make the league more pass happy is to widen the lane, forcing the big men to spread out more. Not only will they be unable to hang out under the basket as much, but it will open up the middle for backdoor cuts and give and go’s.

Allow Zone Defense

Along with widening the lane, this is another international-esque move that I’d suggest the NBA make. Unlike many arguments, the NBA players are capable of stopping offenses by playing zone defense. They play it in the international game, and who are often some of the best defenders in the NBA? European players. The banning of zone defense was done to promote scoring, and with the athleticism of today’s players, there would still be a lot of scoring.

Only Take Four…

…teams per conference to the playoffs. There is no reason to put half the teams in the league in the playoffs other than to increase revenue. The MLB takes eight, and the NFL takes twelve. Anything over that and you’re starting to bring in some teams that are just plain mediocre (ahem, Chicago…). There isn’t any place for mediocre in the playoffs, and if the NBA wanted to be taken more seriously, they’d start being more like Major League Baseball and less like the National Hockey League. Less is more, gentlemen (that goes for you too, NCAA).

I’m sure that these suggestions I’ve listed will ignite some discussion. I want to hear your thoughts and criticism, whether you agree with me or not. I doubt that the NBA will take my advice any time soon, but until they do, I won’t be watching any of the playoffs until the conference finals…at the earliest.

Since I didn’t write about the Ben Roethlisberger situation, I’ve decided to let you guys tell me what you think. Check out the poll in the top left corner of the page to vote. Think of it as my way of getting “the fans” involved.

– K. Becks

3 Responses to Where Amazing Happens? Not Quite…

  1. andrew b on April 20, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    liked your idea of widening the lanes but extending the age limit is rubbish. the nfl is a much, much more physical game and that's why they have the age rule. the nba just wants the rule in place to cover their ass so they don't accidently pick a young player who isn't ready overhyped. the nba now also has the developemental league to develope their talent and maturity, giving them more options if they choose skip college. i say if both the player and the scouts decide they're good enough, let them enter the draft.

  2. Coleman on April 24, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Kyle what do you think the NBA could do to make the draft meaningful? Even in its best drafting classes, the NBA draft takes at most 7 or 8 players that last in the league let alone make a difference on teams.

  3. K. Becks on April 25, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Andrew, I would definitely like to see the lane widened and zone defense allowed before they fix the age rule. I think that if they did those first two things, then the game would change, and those players would have to stay in college longer because they wouldn't be ready to handle the game. It would take longer to learn a game where both man and zone defense was allowed against the best in the world, and widening the lane would require the big men to hone their skills longer at the collegiate level.

    Coleman, requiring players to stay in school longer would eliminate some of that. Guys like B.J. Mullens were obviously not ready for the NBA, but it's much easier to take the cash that the D-League offers than stay in college for three years and risk showing the league that you're not capable of playing in the pros. However, since 19 year olds are able to master the game, there is no real reason to keep them in school, is there? First they need to do some of the other things I suggested so that the game can't be mastered by a 19 year old.

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