I guess this post is a brief follow-up to Nate's post that actually demonstrates some level of interest in what is now the most boring sport in America.
The NBA sucks. Stories about big trades (Shaq, Gasol) and 'controversial' rumblings by 'controversial' players ('Sheed saying he doesn't want to cancel his vacation to play as an All-Star reserve) seem to be the only interesting thing about the sport. In fact, as a casual NBA fan, you hardly even hear about what teams are playing well, what star players are blossoming, etc. Instead, most of the NBA headlines are about these little dramatic side plots. And after watching parts of the Lakers-Heat game on Sunday, I found out why: The action on the court has become so deplorably boring that people have to talk about the side stories or else the league seems totally inconsequential.
I know I'm not saying anything new when I argue that the NBA regular season has become a joke. But really, I saw some terrible basketball on Sunday. I know the league has been trying for years to make the game more offense-friendly, but in reality, it has just become sloppy. Here are my proposed rule changes to clean up the atrocious mess that you see these days.
1. Seriously, start enforcing traveling and 3-seconds calls. A no-brainer.
2. Subtract a point for a turnover. Sure, a turnover should be a penalty enough in itself, but these guys really don't care if they throw errant, lazy passes. Penalize them more!
3. Eliminate the shot clock. A 24-second shot clock? I don't know what games were like in the pre-shot clock era, but the game has changed enough now that we don't need a shot clock. Teams consistently jack up shots with only 5 to 7 seconds off the shot clock. It now needs to be extended or eliminated. It's just not fun to watch teams trade (and miss) open 18-footers every ten seconds.
4. Reverse the defensive 3-second rule. The defensive 3-second rule makes no sense to me. Let a center camp out on defense and force offensive penetrators to be a little more creative and work a little harder for their baskets.
5. Let them handcheck! Bring back the handcheck. There's nothing wrong with a little push here and there.
6. Shorten the length of the game, shorten the regular season, shorten the playoffs.
In a somewhat unrelated note, I can't believe that two officials in two different college hoops games last night called a foul with less than 0.5 seconds to go. I'm not suggesting that the final <1.0 seconds of a ball game should be a free-for-all without consequence for fouling. But come on, in situations like that, there's so much bumping and chaos, just let them play. What a shame for the Nova men and Scarlett Nappy-Headed Hos.