The NBA will experiment with a coaches’ challenge for summer league games
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, one where teams will have the ability to seek a review of certain calls in the final 2 minutes of regulation and overtime. Coaches will have to call a time-out before live play resumes, and then trigger a blinking light on the scorer’s table to initiate the challenge.
”We’re going to try it in limited form,” NBA executive vice president for basketball operations Kiki Vandeweghe said.
The plan is consistent with what’s long been the league’s thinking when it comes to summer league, turning it into a testing laboratory of sorts for the NBA. The G League already has a challenge rule in place.
Another new twist this summer is a rule that will see the shot clock reset to 14 seconds instead of 24 after offensive rebounds, similar to what’s used in the G League and the WNBA.
It’s all part of a continued evolution of summer league, which will see a record 94 games played between the three cities. All three leagues run separately, and the bulk of the games will be played in Las Vegas – where, for the first time, all 30 NBA franchises will be sending squads.
”It’s become the center of basketball in the month of July,” Vandeweghe said.
The scores will likely soon be forgotten – such is the nature of summer league – but the challenge experiment will be followed closely by just about everyone involved, especially the league’s competition committee that will ultimately decide if the twist comes to the NBA in the future.
Among the plays that coaches will be able to challenge: if a basket or foul occurred before the shot clock expired, who the ball went off when it’s out of bounds
, if a foul meets clear-path criteria, if goaltending or basket interference was properly called, and if a player was in the act of shooting when fouled.
Coaches will also be able to challenge if a player was in the restricted area on block-charge calls, such as the one in Game 1 of the NBA Finals where Golden State’s Kevin Durant and Cleveland’s LeBron James collided in the lane at a very pivotal moment in that series.
Referees will be the only ones who can initiate a review of potentially flagrant fouls and end-of-period situations. In the last 2 minutes of regulation, only referees can seek review to check if a shot was a 2- or 3-pointer, and if a shot hit the rim and whether the shot clock should be therefore adjusted.
”You see the level of competitiveness that’s at these summer leagues,” the Los Angeles Lakers‘ Josh Hart said. ”Guys dream about making it to the NBA and when they get out there, every possession, you have to go hard or you’re going to get exposed.”
Here’s some more of what to know about summer league:
ESPN and NBA TV will also be experimenting in Las Vegas. ESPN will be using a SkyCam for all games, including two where the overhead view will be considered the main camera angle on the broadcast. There will also be a ”vertical view” production for two games that will be shown internationally, a move the NBA decided to utilize based on research among viewers in China.
OTHER RULE CHANGES
Players get 10 fouls before fouling out in summer league games, until the playoff portion begins in Las Vegas and the rule reverts to the conventional six-and-you’re-out. Quarters last 10 minutes, overtime is 2 minutes and in some games there will be a first-point-wins rule if a second OT is required.
No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton could make his debut on Friday at 9:30 p.m. EDT, when the Phoenix Suns take on the Dallas Mavericks.
Sacramento and Utah will not have playoffs in their short leagues. The NBA Summer League in Las Vegas will crown a champion on July 17.
Andre Iguodala knocked down another clutch 3-pointer and let out some rare emotion, triumphantly reaching his arms out wide as he ran back to the defensive end. The Golden State swingman had thrown down a spectacular alley-oop dunk only 31 seconds earlier, and he was feeling it as the clocked ticked away on a second straight lopsided playoff win.
There’s something about Iguodala in the postseason. He paces himself through the regular season to be fresh and ready – and sometimes dominant – on the big stage for the defending NBA champions.
”Everyone gets hyped when Andre gets hyped because that’s a rare occurrence,” teammate Klay Thompson said. ”You might see it on the golf course.”
It’s just what the short-handed Warriors were hoping to see.
Iguodala is back in the starting lineup for Golden State’s first-round series against the Spurs, filling in for Stephen Curry as the two-time MVP recovers from a sprained left knee. That’s how versatile Iguodala is: the 6-foot-6 swingman can be inserted in place of a point guard. The Warriors will go for a 3-0 lead Thursday when the best-of-seven series shifts to San Antonio.
At 34, Iguodala knows how to take care of himself over the long grind of an NBA season, all to be prepared to do whatever is asked of him in the playoffs.
”For us to be able to throw Andre out there really 1 through 4 both offensively and defensively , it’s an incredibly valuable weapon,” coach Steve Kerr said.
That’s when he has been at his brilliant best for the Warriors – and they are getting their money’s worth from a major investment last summer.
Many feared he might leave, but Iguodala received a $48 million, three-year contract to stay put and chase another championship. Even if he could have landed a bigger role elsewhere.
”Well, we met with him and we gave him our pitch and lots of money so we were hoping he wasn’t going to leave,” Kerr said. ”I didn’t anticipate him leaving because he knows this is a great situation for him and we rewarded him for everything he’s done and for what we think he can do for us. I think this year was a good example of that. A lot of people were grumbling about he’s not shooting the ball well or whatever. … It’s the incredible defense, amazing awareness, intelligence, leadership.”
Iguodala keeps it simple, whether he’s in the lineup or coming off the bench: ”Just try to do whatever it takes to help the team get over the hump and get a win.”
In 2015, Kerr moved Iguodala into the starting lineup, and he became Finals MVP as the franchise captured its first championship in 40 years.
Golden State is hoping for the same this spring. Iguodala had only started seven times before Game 1 of the playoffs Saturda] , when he had seven rebounds, four assists and three points.
That’s after he missed four of the final five regular season games with a sore left knee.
”He’s definitely got to pace himself, the man’s played so much hoops in the last 15 years,” Thompson said. ”Andre is a gamer. He is going to step up in the biggest moments, and right now it’s the playoffs. We have all the trust in the world for him, that’s why he’s a Finals MVP.”
On Monday, Iguodala finished with 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting with four 3-pointers, seven rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block.
And he can guard anybody.
”His hands are so good. That’s the small thing that people don’t realize, he’s got great hands when he gets steals,” Kevin Durant said. ”So guys are just thinking about that when they’re trying to score on him. As a scorer you’ve got to think about something other than getting to your spots or getting into your rhythm and it throws you off just a little bit. And that’s all you need to guard the best player ]Clint Frazier New York Yankees Jersey[/url] , just for them to think just a tiny bit and Dre does that.”
Iguodala was part of the Warriors group that traveled to the Hamptons to persuade Durant to join a super team in July 2016.
”I always knew what Andre could do,” Durant said. ”I played two USA teams with him, so I kind of knew his value. He’s not one of those guys that’s going to go out and say, `Here, Dre, give us 30 points.’ He’s one of those who can do just about everything good – he can shoot, he can pass, he can dribble, he can defend, he can rebound, he can do all those things really good. It’s not like he wants to do one thing more than the other.”