If you watched the NBA as much as I did this past week you noticed a big time increase in the “Delay of Game” call. To be honest, I consistently viewed the call as a throwaway, “Hey stop being an ass” type of penalty that really didn’t have an impact on the game. Well, things changed this year.
Announcers have been beating it into our heads that league officials met in the off-season and decided to put a bigger emphasis on the call. Look, I get that the idea is to prevent players from dunking the ball and subsequently kicking it into the second row, but the call should be very discretionary. If someone catches the ball out of the basket and rolls it towards the nearest player out of bounds, that should not be a penalty. I’ve seen so many different iterations of the call in the first week and it’s clear that there is no semblance of consistency. It seems very reactionary and almost forced as a result of the league putting these situations under a microscope.
Of course, this wouldn’t be an issue if two penalties in the course of the game didn’t result in a TECHNICAL FOUL. Imagine a playoff game being decided by one point and having had a delay of game technical called. That would ruin the league. I hope it gets scaled back and is attributed to first week jitters because this will be problematic if it continues to get called this way.