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As the season winds down and pre-playoff time, I wanted to get everyones thoughts on a few problems I see with the way games are officiated in general. This isn't necessarily a knock on the officials; since a lot of this stuff is across the board, I can only assume they are being trained to call games this way and being reinforced when they do. That being said, here are a few common problems that I notice:1) The block/charge call. This has been my hot button for several years. I watch very little college, but they seem to get it right far, far more often than the NBA does. In the NBA, the benefit of the doubt on this play always seems to go to the flopping defender. I doubt there is a stat out there from the 80's, but I'd guess there are 3-4 times more charges taken nowawdays than from that era. And that would be fine...if these were legitamate charges. Yet, the refs reinforce these flops by continually giving the defender the call, when 75% of charges should be no-calls or blocks. The charge circle hasn't helped either; the officials use that as an end-all, and if a defender is outside the circle, whether moving or not, whether sliding underneath a defender who has already left their feet or not (this one really gets on my nerves), a charge is almost always awarded.2) Pick and rolls. Simmons wrote about this some time ago. Almost all high screens these days are moving. However, with the creative screens teams are setting these days, such as the one where a defender is facing directly at the other teams goal around the top of the key and letting the point guard create (Parker and Duncan run this beautifully), I don't think it is a huge an issue as it was a few years ago. Furthermore, with the astounding athletic ability of players of all sizes in the league these days, I'm not so sure that you don't have to let some moving picks go without the average game score be something like 86-78.3) The ball fake and jump into. This one is a joke and the offensive player gets the call way, way too often. Not much else to say about this one except that defenders seem to be basically staying on their feet and still getting the call on this one. Why is this even a foul on the defensive player, anyway? It's almost always the offensive player initiating the contact.4) The put your shoulder in the defenders chest on the drive, yell "HEY!" ala Kobe Bryant, and flail your arms. You can tell coaches are training their players to do this as it's spread across the entire league. A basically stationary big man helping on the pick and roll gets the offensive players shoulder in the middle of his chest and a call constantly goes against him. Again, most of these should be no calls. The big man is much better of flopping anyway (see #1).

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I'm all for NBA officiating... Any idea when we might get some?In all seriousness...1. ) It's like the dotted circle in the paint doesnt even exist. I've seen 0 consitency on the charge/block this season and it's downright maddening. Factoring in the star system, and if you're a rookie or second year player, you need to either go ridiculously hard to make sure they have to shoot 2 full free throws, or just get the heck out of the way.2. ) Teams are going to adjust to the pick and roll. Even in portland there has been a lot of talk of moving Roy to the PG and sliding in Batum/Fernandes/Outlaw/Webster into the 2/3 slots... so that even on high screens, you still get a 6-5/6-9 guy with wingspan no matter if there is a switch off or not. Not that teams changing their makeup to accomodate inconsistent reffing is the perfect solution... But if it's played the same across the board, it's the same for every team. Now we just need it called consitently across the board.3. ) I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that Kobe and Lebron and co. get the lean in/initiate call a *bit* more frequently than, say, Quentin Richardson... Gee, seems like all these concerns are leading back to a central idea, doesn't it?4. ) see above, see above...It's the whole Star-System at the root of the problem, it's been that way for decades and it won't be changing anytime soon..The best you really can do is ask to crack down on 3 in the key, moving screens, you know, the "less marginal" spots, but even that is more of a pipe dream than a coming reality. And its frustrating, because I know we all need more than our fingers and toes to count the games this year that really were not decided on the court by the players.

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1) Completely disagree with the college comparison. Every game I see there's multiple times that a defensive player moves right under the basket after the guy who scores has taken off, and they give them the charge.I agree with most everything else you said about this though. Somewhere along the way it became that every "charge/block" call needs to be a charge or a block call. The reason charging is even a rule is to prevent an offensive player from overpowering an opponent without executing a skill to create the advantage, not as a tool for the defense to create a change of possession. For example; when an offensive player unsuccessfully attempts to drive by his man without lowering his shoulder below the chest of the defender or pushing off with his off-arm, the defensive player is supposed to hold his ground, not fall to the floor (think Derek Fisher). That is not a charge or a block, it's a no call.Cappy, you're statement that it seems the "dotted line doesn't exist" is true, often times it's not supposed to exist. When the play in question involves the primary defender there is no dotted line.2) I agree there a lot of moving screens, but there are actually a lot of moving screens called every game. They set illegal screens a large pct of the time they run screen rolls, but do you really want the officials to call them for it every time. I say let them play.3) If an offensive player gets a defensive player off his feet (as long as he didn't jump vertically), the defensive player is now out of position. The offensive player has created the advantage and is allowed to initiate contact. As a defensive player you're not to leave your feet until after your offensive man leaves his feet.4) This is too hard to respond to without specific examples. Although, I agree with Cappy here, this is more often than not a star-dependent call. You got the Kobe yell wrong though, it's not "HEY!", it's "HHHHHEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYYYYYYY..........CALL THAT SHIT ************!!!" And here's two more patented pleads:Pau Gasol: "HHHEEEEYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH"Lamar Odom: "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNDDDDDDDDDDDDD1111111111111111"Do I think NBA officiating is excellent? NO. Do I think NBA officiating is good? Nahh. Do I think NBA officiating has been better? Yes. Do I think NBA officiating is horrendous? Absolutely not. What do we have to compare it to? College Basketball and International Basketball...If you think college officials are good, you need help. International officiating is even worse. If you watch Euroleague games on NBAtv, it'll make you want to go out and get yourself a #26 Bob Delaney jersey.

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Fair enough on college...I don't watch enough to be able to really know what I'm talking about there.Regarding #3, I see what you are saying...but I think a ton of time very little contact is actually initiated. There's contact on about 99% of NBA plays, that, by the rulebook, would be a foul. Watch defenders trying to stay with someone going over a screen...the accepted NBA practice is to reach out and grab their wrist/arm to keep them from turning the corner. Rarely called. Yet this is for some reason called every time even when there is minor contact or when the defender has already landed.LOL @ the players yellingAnd to clarify my stance on your last point, overall I think NBA officiating is adequete (sp) too. Those few things just bug me
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Cappy, you're statement that it seems the "dotted line doesn't exist" is true, often times it's not supposed to exist. When the play in question involves the primary defender there is no dotted line.
lol really? I seriously did not know this.. wow.
4) This is too hard to respond to without specific examples. Although, I agree with Cappy here, this is more often than not a star-dependent call. You got the Kobe yell wrong though, it's not "HEY!", it's "HHHHHEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYYYYYYY..........CALL THAT SHIT ************!!!" And here's two more patented pleads:Pau Gasol: "HHHEEEEYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH"Lamar Odom: "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNDDDDDDDDDDDDD1111111111111111".
This strikes me particularly funny because the Utah Sports Talk Guy was on the Portland Station before the Blazer/Jazz game the other night, and *he* was joking that Carlos Boozer's entire defensive gameplan against any of the outside shooting 4s was to put his arms in the air and shout "HEYYY!!!" and "MISS!!!!!" from 5 feet away. I actually saw him do it a couple of times when LA faded back for 15 footers... Boozer never left the paint and was shouting his fool head off.. lol.. If Utah's on TV in your area during the playoffs.. Make sure to check it out.. It's too funny for words.. Possible drinking game potential, as well..
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Ok you're being sarcastic.I thought you would know that, but I couldn't figure out what you meant by that statement, so I went with maybe you don't know. Wrong read. So what did you mean when you said that?
I can almost guarantee you he was not being sarcastic
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Yeah, no sarcasm. Maybe I've just never seen the rule in print before.. Perhaps the officials don't suck as much as I think.

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Yea, I get tired of seeing players get undercut underneath the basket in college.
Especially since those poor kids don't have million dollar contracts and have *everything* to lose in those scenarios.
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