5 Ideas From The NHL That The NBA Should Implement
5 Ideas From The NHL That The NBA Should Utilize
With the NBA and NHL seasons both in the rear-view mirror and only bad summer baseball to look forward to – well, at least in Chicago – I am trying to keep the NBA and NHL thoughts alive for as long as possible.
Although I have become more of an NHL fan than I once was, I admit that I have always been more of an NBA fan because basketball was always the winter sport that dominated my life growing up – I played basketball for my grammar school, I watched as many basketball games on television as I could, and I even attended high school, college and professional basketball games multiple times each season. I’ve never played one shift of hockey, but I’ve become much more of an NHL fan over the past six years and have come to absolutely love the history and non-stop action that accompanies the sport.
While I still do love the NBA, there are many things I have noticed over the years that the NHL does that makes their league, in my opinion, much better than the NBA. I decided to focus on five ways in which I believe the NBA should follow ideas that are currently being used in the NHL. Some of these ideas may seem like they would not transition smoothly into the NBA, but some of them are so simple that they could be implemented in the NBA in the next few seasons.
With David Stern on his way out as commissioner of the NBA and current NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver slated to succeed Stern in February, a new era is about to begin in the association. Let’s take a look at five changes that I believe the NBA would be wise to make.
No. 5: Subbing Players 'On The Fly'
I love the way NHL players are allowed to enter the game “on the fly” because it keeps the action rolling and can actually alter a scoring opportunity — something that is less common in the NHL than the NBA. The first thing that comes to mind is where would NBA players have to enter the court to be able to sub in; they can’t sub in “on the fly” right from the bench, right? The easy solution is to have the players enter and exit right near the mid-court line — similar to where they currently enter the court during a substitution. The other thing that I have heard when discussing this idea is that keeping track of each player’s time on the court would be difficult since the changes would be happening while the game is going on. I don’t know who is in charge of tracking times for the players during the game, but the NHL is able to keep track of each player’s ice time, so the NBA should be able to do the same for their players, right?
No. 4: Only One Timeout Per Team Per Game
We all know that when the game clock during an NBA game reaches the one-minute mark, there is definitely more than one or two minutes left. The final minute of an NBA game can take as long as 10 minutes. The rule of only one timeout per team per game would prevent NBA teams from stopping the clock every five or six seconds in the final minute of a game in order to draw up another play or substitute a player. Granting an NBA team only one timeout per game would force teams to be much more conservative in their choice to stop the clock. It would force them to make changes on the court and become much more adaptive to the various situations they would be in. Not only does the constant clock stoppage towards the end of games slow down the pace of the game and a team’s momentum, but it takes all the tension out of the end of the game.
No. 3: Enlarged Team Logo On Front Of Jersey
One of the things I love about the NHL is the design of the sweaters. There is just something about the enlarged, eye-catching logos that make NHL sweaters the best jerseys in all of pro sports. Sure, the team name or city name on the front of the NBA jerseys has been consistent over the years, but the Golden State Warriors’ enlarged logo on the front of their jersey — although it does contain the team’s name and the player’s number, unlike the NHL — makes it my favorite jersey in the NBA. And I can’t think of an NBA team that would have a difficulty enlarging their normal logo to fit properly on the front of their jersey. Also, the jersey switch would give teams the chance to re-do their team logo if they so pleased.
No. 2: Re-Seeding Teams After First Round Of Playoffs
Even with all the time I’ve spent watching the NBA, I’ve never understood why they don’t re-seed the teams after the first round of the playoffs. It makes perfect sense that the lowest seed should play the highest seed each round; the second round is the only place where that doesn’t happen. Re-seeding in the second round would avoid the scenario of the No. 1 seed vs. the No. 4 seed while the No. 3 seed plays the No. 7 seed. It could also bypass the scenario of the No. 8 seed vs. the No. 5 seed — which would ensure that a team from the bottom half of the seeds would make their conference’s finals —while the No. 2 seed plays the No. 3 seed in the second round. Re-seeding after the first round would give the team with the better regular season record an easier opponent in the second round. That makes perfect sense to me.
No. 1: Fantasy Draft For The All-Star Game
Let’s be honest, the NBA All-Star Game selection process is simply a popularity contest. There are usually a couple of players each season who are well deserving of being named NBA All-Stars but end up being snubbed. The NBA All-Star Game selection process should be altered from its current version and follow the NHL All-Star Game selection process, where there are two captains who select players in a “fantasy draft.” The draft itself would be a huge television event one or two nights before the actual game and would draw a large viewing audience. Although the draft would take away from the fan interaction with the selection process, it is the players who play against each other every game that know who the more deserving players are.