Take fouls, score changes will be different in NBA this year

Take fouls, score changes will be different in NBA this year

Changing the way the so-called “transition take fouls” are officiated this season won’t keep them out of the NBA game.

In fact, the league thinks that sort of play now may make the game better.

The long-awaited rule change — one of the points of education for the NBA going into this season — was a major talking point this week for referees, who gathered for their preseason meetings now that training camps around the league are about to open. There are other emphasis points, but the take-foul changes may be the most significant.

“Some of our best play at the NBA is defensive basketball. We don’t want to discourage that; in fact, we think this rule will encourage that because now we’re asking you to make a legitimate play on the ball,” said Monty McCutchen, the NBA’s Senior Vice President overseeing referees and training. “From that standpoint, we think more exciting basketball is on the horizon and these transition scoring opportunities—both defensively and offensively—can be highlight plays. We’ve lost some of that and we think this rule is going to inject that exciting play back into our game.”

The take foul — in which the defender does not make a play on the ball — is what the league classifies as one that occurs either “during a transition scoring opportunity or immediately following a change of possession and before the offensive team had the opportunity to advance the ball.” The exception is in the final 2 minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime.

The new penalty for such a foul is one free throw, which may be attempted by any player on the offended team in the game at the time the foul was committed, along with continued possession by the offended team.

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