One of the chief complaints about NBA games recently has been the number of late game plays that get reviewed, as seemingly every ball that goes out of bounds gets looked at to determine who it went off of (sometimes to a ridiculous degree). Those who think the ends of NBA games take too long are in for a treat this next year, but they also should be wary of what changes they have wrought.
On Monday, the NBA’s Competition Committee met and will suggest to the Board of Governors that they get rid of automatic reviews inside the last two minutes and make the only reviews that happen be via a coaches challenge, according to Shams Charania.
Sources: The NBA Board of Governors will vote this month to approve the Coach’s Challenge being the lone method to review out-of-bounds calls with under two minutes left in games, meaning out-of-bounds plays will no longer be automatically triggered for officials.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 13, 2021
That will certainly speed things along, but now that Pandora’s box has been opened with regard to replay and TV broadcasts certainly aren’t going to stop showing slow-motion replays of controversial calls, it’s a guarantee that this just causes a different frustration for fans about missed calls that now don’t get reviewed. This has always been the issue with rolling back anything related to replay review, because for all the complaints about how long it takes and how the game gets interrupted, it’s typically the players themselves yelling for reviews and twirling their fingers begging for a second look.
Now, they will only have their coaches to look to for one chance at overturning a wrong call and I’m sure the coaches won’t be thrilled to suddenly have an even harder decision about when to use (and when to hold onto) their challenge. It will make games go faster and if the general public is willing to accept that some of those human errors are going to return in exchange for quicker, smoother final minutes then this will go over great, I’d just be skeptical the league is going to get glowing reviews for this one.