Know The One Rule That The NBA Doesn’t Like and Plans To Change For Entertainment Boost

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    During a meeting with the NBA’s competition committee on Tuesday, the league office emphasized the heightened attention of referees towards discouraging offensive players from actively seeking fouls and veering off their path to the basket to initiate contact with defenders for an advantage.

    FILE PHOTO: The NBA logo is displayed as people pass by the NBA Store in New York City, U.S., October 7, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

    The memo shared with all 30 NBA teams and disclosed by ESPN highlighted how these points of emphasis have resulted in a decrease in league scoring.


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    Analyzing the NBA’s Scoring Decline: Referee Recommendations and League Response

    NBA officials are convinced that the recommendations provided to referees have played a role in the recent decline in league scoring during the months of January and February. The league acknowledges in the aforementioned memo that it is actively assessing the state of offensive and defensive balance, with a particular focus on legal defensive positioning and the degree of contact permitted on drives to the basket.

    League competition officials informed committee members that despite an average decrease of four points and 1.9 personal fouls per team in recent weeks, there is no specific directive from the league office to decrease scoring, as stated in the memo.

    Apr 9, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (1) goes to the basket as New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas (17) defends during the second quarter at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

    The league emphasized that this trend “will continue to be monitored,” with factors such as slower pace, style of play, competitive intensity, and referee approach identified as contributing factors so far.

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    Additionally, the NBA informed teams that “evaluation at future committee meetings will determine whether rule changes and/or interpretations should be considered for the next season.”

    Balancing Act: NBA’s Fine on Rudy Gobert vs. Easing Fan Access to Live Betting

    Last week, the NBA levied a $100,000 fine against Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert for gesturing the universal “money sign” at a referee, implying the official had been influenced by sports gambling when calling a foul on him.

    On Tuesday, the NBA announced a slight easing in allowing fans to place live bets on games. The league revealed that League Pass will now offer fans the option to wager on games in real-time, in collaboration with Sportradar, a global data company.

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    FILE PHOTO: Apr 21, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kyle Anderson (5) goes to the basket as Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) defends during the fourth quarter of game three of the 2023 NBA Playoffs at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

    Together, they are introducing a new feature in the app that enables viewers to monitor betting odds during games and place bets through the NBA’s sports gambling partners. Currently, this option is accessible only on mobile devices, but plans are underway, according to The Athletic, to extend it to other platforms as an opt-in feature.

    Amidst players expressing their frustrations about the impact of the surge in sports gambling on the NBA, the league is facilitating further integration of betting options. Initially, viewers will have limited betting options, including point spreads, money lines, and over/under.

    Once they select their bet, they will be directed to a sportsbook from either FanDuel or DraftKings. While viewers from all states can see the betting options, betting will only be allowed in states where mobile sports gambling is legal, as reported by The Athletic.

    FILE PHOTO: Mar 5, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; A view of the NBA logo and NBA app logo and basketballs in front of the base during warms up before the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Suns at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

    Scott Kaufman-Ross, the NBA’s executive vice president of media and gaming, stated to The Athletic that he believes this marks the first in-app betting option offered by a U.S. professional sports league.

    The NBA’s decision to embrace gambling more extensively comes at a time when players, despite lacking concrete evidence, are expressing concerns about its potential impact on the game.

    I think it’s hurting our game,” Gobert said the night of his ejection. “I know the betting and all that is becoming bigger and bigger, but it shouldn’t feel that way.”

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