officials are in a foul mood
Here’s some of the “points of emphasis” NBA referees are watching for and calling this season:
Traveling: The NBA’s age-old issue. Officials will focus on a player’s pivot foot sliding or lifting before that player start his dribble.
Illegal screens: Officials will watch for screener’s “hip checks” and extended legs that impede defenders.
Contact on jump shots: They are looking for defenders who move into shooters and don’t allow them space to come back to earth.
New rule: Players can no longer leave the court in an attempt to spread the opposing defense. Former Denver coach George Karl used the tactic in the past few years, and the NBA says 10 other teams joined in last year. Offending teams will lose possession if the player doesn’t immediately step back onto the court.
Flagrant fouls: They’re particularly looking for a defender’s “windup” while swiping at a player with the ball.
Video-review addition: Officials now can review blocking/charging calls in the last two minutes of regulation or overtime to determine if the defender was in the restricted area, and now can reverse a charge call or uphold a blocking foul if the defender was in the restricted area when the shooter started his motion.
Other video-review additions: Officials can reverse off-ball fouls if replay shows shooter hadn’t started his shooting motion at time of contact. Same deal on inbounds play if inbounding player hadn’t released ball at time of contact. Officials also can give technical or flagrant fouls seen on replays while they review an unrelated play.