Tuesday, August 19, 2014

How exciting would "sudden death" overtime be in the NBA?

Take a look at this clip from an NBA summer league game in Las Vegas last month.  In an Atlanta Hawks vs D-League Select Team matchup, the powers that be decided that for the second overtime they would implement the old fashioned playground rule "next basket wins":

Did you hear the oohs and ahhs from the crowd?  How incredible was that?  And this was during a meaningless summer exhibition game.  I'm not advocating for all NBA overtimes to be sudden death.  It doesn't seem reasonable to decide a 48-minute contest by whoever scores next.

But if the game happens to go double-OT, why not?  Players are exhausted by this point, and the level of competition can get pretty ugly (check out this Celtics vs Mavericks affair back in 2012).

Bill Simmons recently discussed this on his B.S. Report podcast (the "half baked ideas" editions with Kevin Wildes are always spectacular, the topic comes up at the 18-minute mark), but they missed one key factor.  It should be like baseball or the new NFL overtime, where both squads are guaranteed a possession.  If the team that wins the tip scores first, their opponent can then keep the game going with a two, or win it with a three.

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