While the NBA gets ready to return to action in Orlando in July, the league has been considering several rules changes that could be put into effect as early as next season.
Shot Clock Violations
Currently, if a team on offense does not get a shot off in the allotted 24 seconds, the officials blow the whistle, play stops, and the opposing team inbounds the ball. The proposed rule change would allow play to continue unless a shot at the shot-clock buzzer was rebounded by the offense. This would minimize play stoppage and keep up the pace of games.
When a shot hits the rim, neither the offense nor defense can touch the ball while it is in the cylinder. The NBA is considering going to the international rule. Once the ball hits the rim, it is fair game for either team.
Position-less All-Star Teams
When the All-NBA teams are named, they are separated into guards, forwards, and centers. Teams for the All-Star Game are broken down into guards and frontcourt players. Moving forward, name the players regardless of position.
In the 2017 All-Star Game, the Eastern Conference starters were Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, and DeMar DeRozan. There was no true center in that lineup and James often plays the point.
The league is considering seeding the playoffs No. 1 through 16 regardless of conference. Currently, the top eight teams in each conference are seeded No. 1 through 8. The NBA Finals is played by the winners of each conference.
Play-In for No. 8 Seed
With the resumption of the 2019-20 season, the NBA negotiated for a play-in tournament for the No. 8 seed. This idea has come up in the past and this season will allow the league to test it. In this year’s version of the play-in tournament, the No. 9 seed must end up within four games of the No. 8 seed.
The No. 8-9 seeds will then play a two-game tournament to see who advances. No. 8 needs to win one game and the No. 9 seed must win two games.
The other idea that has been floated around would give the top seven teams in each conference an automatic playoff berth. The other eight teams in each conference would then play a single-elimination tournament for the No. 8 seed.