NBA needs to address officials on the rules

Difference between a blocking foul and a charge

6/4/12 in NBA   |   MortonsLaw   |   156 respect

May 26, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo (9)argues a call with the referee during the fourth quarter in game seven of the Eastern Conference semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden.  Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRELet me preface by stating how difficult it must be to officiate an NBA game. The players are so fast and everything happens at such a speed that allows officials a fraction of a second to decide which call to make. It is also a lot easier for the viewer at home who gets to see multiple replays.

With that said, I feel NBA officials, with help from the league office, can be better at determining what is a blocking foul, a charge or just a no call. How many times have we seen this issue raised during the playoffs this year? In Game 4 Sunday night of the Eastern Conference Finals, so many key plays involved an official making a call that was in question. What makes it worse is how inconsistent the calls are.

The NBA really needs to sit down in the off season and review plays from this postseason that hopefully leads to either officials being better educated on the rules, or perhaps considering changing certain rules. The latter is unlikely, but it seems the difference between a charge and a block gives officials the most difficulty, while enraging players, coaches and fans in the process.

What appears to be the hardest and most blown call by officials is when a player drives and a defensive player slides over to a spot in an attempt at drawing a charge. Most times the defensive player is a help defender and will often slide underneath the offensive player drawing a charge call. However, what the NBA needs to make clear to its officials is, unless the defender is standing straight up and is still without leaning--that play should always be called a blocking foul. You see so many players not set and leaning their body trying to anticipate where the offensive player is going. And I'm not even talking about the semi circle that was created specifically so players can't just hang out under the basket in an attempt to draw a charge on every play.

Shane Battier is a great defender, but he is a prime example of this rule needing to be looked at. Don't get me started on my hatred for Duke players and how coach Krybaby teaches the flop better than any coach in this country.  Battier appears to be on the court to only draw charges. I'm not saying he isn't a great on the ball defender, but more times than not he is falling backwards and based on reputation gets the call more than he should. It makes me sick to see a player beat his initial defender off the dribble, go to the hoop, and then watch a defender run across the court and not attempt to strip the ball or block the shot, but instead tuck his head into his chin and brace himself for contact. I know it's in the rule book--but I hate when defenders do that. How is that exciting? How about running across the court and blocking the shot in spectacular fashion?

And I'm not saying there should be no charge calls at all. So many times players just come flying down the lane and throw their bodies into defenders--Now that is a charge. Today's player has no idea how to pull up in the lane and take an easy 5-7 foot jumper. Instead most players shoot the 3 or drive all the way to the basket and create contact. That's why they call it a player control foul.

June 3, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers reacts to a play as they take on the Miami Heat during the second half in game four of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2012 NBA playoffs at TD Garden. The Celtics defeated the Heat in overtime 93-91. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIREThen there's incidental contact. In the overtime of the Heat/Celtics game 4, Mickael Pietrus was guarding LeBron James in the post. James was moving backwards trying to establish post position. Without James creating much contact Pietrus fell backwards. Now I'm not the first to say LeBron gets most calls he shouldn't. In fact, he is guilty of so many charging calls that are called blocking fouls, when he throws his body into defenders. However, on this particular play James did very little to cause Pietrus to fall. The ref decided to call James for an offensive foul, which resulted in Lebron fouling out of the game. In my opinion that play should have been a no call. By the way, the ball was thrown into the post and ended up going out of bounds, so it would've resulted in a turnover regardless. Only difference is LeBron would have continued playing.

In the 4th quarter, Kevin Garnett and LeBron were in the post on the Celtics end. A shot went up and Garnett ran hard to the hoop and knocked over James. Their arms appeared to have been tied up, but in that case Garnett's force appeared to knock James down. The ref called it an offensive foul on Garnett. They actually got this call right in my opinion. Now LeBron may have flopped, which is possible. NBA commissioner David Stern already said he wants to address players flopping and even fine them.  I think he needs to look into everything when it comes to blocking fouls and charges. These games can be better officiated.

May 19, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA;  NBA commissioner David Stern and Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling shake hands with game officials before the start of  game three of the Western Conference semi finals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs at the Staples Center.  San Antonio Spurs won 96-86. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-US PRESSWIRE
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview

6/10/12   |   jaysinw   |   4899 respect

MortonsLaw wrote:
I didn't want to write about the NBA being fixed, but after talking to members of the media (I work in sports tv), most people think it is. After the Tim Donaghy situation, how do you not watch the NBA without thinking something shady is going on? It's becoming common knowledge what officials dislike certain players and coaches. The league really has issues. 

Officials in all sports do not like certain coaches and players, with that line of thinking every sport and game is then fixed. Look at bowing or even the UFC and you see how the Judges really have something to do with the out come and can claim the sports are fixed.

6/6/12   |   coquichriss

David Stern has publicly acknowledged that the charging/blocking call needs supervision and he and the NBA intend to revise it during the offseason. Jeff Van Gundy has even gone out on a limb to say the restricted area under the basket should be moved out significantly further. With all this endless banter about charging calls i think it is safe to say that the charging rule as we know it will undergo significant changes during the offseason. Commissioner David Stern is an innovator, he is not afraid of continuous change.

I like the Krybaby reference lol! North Carolina all day baby!

Why didn't ed cota ever get drafted smh

6/4/12   |   MortonsLaw   |   156 respect

I didn't want to write about the NBA being fixed, but after talking to members of the media (I work in sports tv), most people think it is. After the Tim Donaghy situation, how do you not watch the NBA without thinking something shady is going on? It's becoming common knowledge what officials dislike certain players and coaches. The league really has issues. 

6/4/12   |   jaysinw   |   4899 respect

DeeRigga wrote:
The biggest issue on this is that the refs are NOT watching the players, they are watching the ball - all you have to do is focus on the positioning of the offensive and defensive player during the move.  This is where the refs are TOO BUSY seeing if the ball leaves the players' hands from the shot.   That is NOT important in this situation - let your crew members help on that!  You Visualize the area in the box and YOU HAVE TO NOTICE:
1.  Foot Positioning - is the defender squared up on the ball handler BEFORE contact is initiated...if his feet are moving, he is NOT in position!

2.  Body Shifting...Gary Neal - Prime example!!  He likes to throw his shoulder out toward the offensive player as they go to the hoop to draw contact - THAT IS A DEFENSIVE FOUL!  The defender should be squared to the player upon contact and body VERTICAL, no leaning or falling.

3.  The Flop itself - If a player charges you, It does not matter if you fall or not, SO CUT THAT S*** OUT!!  Take the contact. 

You know the refs are watching the ball too much because how many players carry the ball or travel going to the hole??  You can't see the call because you are too busy watching the dayum ball, son!!

Even on screens, they lower shoulders or slide their knees - That is an illegal screen!!!  Call it...better yet, SEE IT!

I agree with you about the Refs not calling things. Way to many illegal picks, traveling and carries are going on, but again stop blaming the Refs and go after the league. They are the ones in charge that have amde it clear to let things go, for the most part because persons pay for these drama queens to play ball.

If you dount it listen to Stephen A. Smith run his mouth after every game on how the refs should not call this or that, and Bruce Bowen, Shaq, and others claim the same thing. Growing up in NY we used to say the best talent was not always in the NBA, it was here in the street, yard... the players in the NBNA were the best to be able to play by the high standard and rules enforced by the NBA. Now that the refs have been pressured not to call things right, the NBA turned into nothing but an overpriced street game.

The refs are not missing things or following the ball instead of the player, they are instructed not to call those instead look for the reach in and smacks, another one that seems to be missed is the lane violation on free throws.

6/4/12   |   DeeRigga   |   5704 respect

The biggest issue on this is that the refs are NOT watching the players, they are watching the ball - all you have to do is focus on the positioning of the offensive and defensive player during the move.  This is where the refs are TOO BUSY seeing if the ball leaves the players' hands from the shot.   That is NOT important in this situation - let your crew members help on that!  You Visualize the area in the box and YOU HAVE TO NOTICE:
1.  Foot Positioning - is the defender squared up on the ball handler BEFORE contact is initiated...if his feet are moving, he is NOT in position!

2.  Body Shifting...Gary Neal - Prime example!!  He likes to throw his shoulder out toward the offensive player as they go to the hoop to draw contact - THAT IS A DEFENSIVE FOUL!  The defender should be squared to the player upon contact and body VERTICAL, no leaning or falling.

3.  The Flop itself - If a player charges you, It does not matter if you fall or not, SO CUT THAT S*** OUT!!  Take the contact. 

You know the refs are watching the ball too much because how many players carry the ball or travel going to the hole??  You can't see the call because you are too busy watching the dayum ball, son!!

Even on screens, they lower shoulders or slide their knees - That is an illegal screen!!!  Call it...better yet, SEE IT!