It was a scenario we saw play out more than once this preseasion: The Brooklyn Nets get an offensive rebound and get caught thinking they had more time.
Late in Friday night’s win at Madison Square Garden, Treveon Graham made a huge play for the Brooklyn Nets, corralling a missed Jarrett Allen free throw and allowing the Nets, nursing a 10-point lead with a little more than four minutes remaining, another valuable possession.
The ball was worked out to the perimeter, but the Nets were slow getting into their set. Spencer Dinwiddie dribbled the ball just outside the 3-point line near the sideline, glanced up at the shot clock and suddenly stepped back for an off-balance shot that missed.
The shot clock was on the verge of expiring much sooner than Dinwiddie expected.
It’s a scenario that played out multiple times for the Nets — and every other team in the NBA — over the course of the preseason after a rule change approved by the NBA Board of Governors last month dramatically shortened the possession time for teams after an offensive rebound.
In a move designed to get the NBA in line with rules used by FIBA, the NBA approved a change on offensive rebounds, loose-ball fouls against the defensive immediately after a missed shot or on a team rebound (the ball going out of bounds and staying with the offensive team) after a miss.
That change resets the shot clock in those scenarios to just 14 seconds instead of the 24 seconds that had been the standard in those situations since the NBA adopted the shot clock for the 1954-55 season.
In other words, yeah, this is gonna take some getting used to.
The rule has been in effect in the G League since the 2016-17 season and was used during the NBA Summer League in July, so some players have had at least some exposure to the rule.
It’s the veterans, it seems, that are having the biggest challenge in the transition to the change.
The change was prompted in the never-ending quest by sports leagues in the U.S., in particular, to keep the action going.
The shorter clock after an offensive rebound keeps the action moving, or so the thinking goes, particularly since the offensive team doesn’t have to move the ball down the court to get the offense set up.
Of course, they don’t have to do that after taking a timeout in the final two minutes of the game and the ball is moved into the frontcourt, but now I’m just picking nits.
A lot of analysts have toed the line, talking about how the change helps keep play moving, but I’m not totally sold on this.
It feels like the offensive team is being penalized for working harder than the defense, particularly in late-game situations when a team is trying to hold a lead.
You do the work, you get the ball off the offensive window, you get another 24 seconds to make the other team have to defend or foul. That’s how it’s been.
Now the reward for that work has been cut by 42 percent — 10 seconds from 24 working out to that figure — all under the guise, I suppose, of appealing to fans the league apparently believes have the attention span of your average small flying insect.
In fairness, the NBA hasn’t reached NFL-level extremes in trying to promote offense — what with the NFL effectively making defensive play illegal if it involved contact or close proximity to offensive skill players.
But I’m still not crazy about the change. Maybe it will grow on me. More than likely it won’t.
Heck, even the clock operators are having trouble with the change.
Dinwiddie rebounded his own missed free throw with 17.9 seconds remaining against the New York Knicks Friday night, thanks to some more hard work by the elastic arms of Graham keeping the ball alive.
Dinwiddie was in no hurry to trigger the offense because the shot clock was dark. It became a moot point when he was fouled again with 15.5 seconds remaining,
But with 17.9 seconds showing when Brooklyn controlled the offensive board, the shot clock should not have gone dark — it should have been reset to 14 seconds per the new rules.
So, yeah. This thing is going to take some time to get used to.