The rules have changed.
OK, not very significantly. But it’s going to be a little jarring, anyway, when you see 14 go up on the shot clock rather than 24 seconds after a team’s offensive rebound.
That’s one of three rule changes the NBA Board of Governors approved this month, rules the Jazz will see for the first time Saturday when they take on the Perth Wildcats at 7 p.m. at Vivint Arena. Here’s the full breakdown of what to expect:
Rule change 1: Shot clock reset to 14 seconds
The rule: The shot clock will reset to 14 seconds in three scenarios: after an offensive rebound of a missed field goal or free throw that hit the rim; after a loose ball foul is called on the defensive team immediately following a missed field goal or free throw that hit the rim; or after the offensive team gets possession of the ball after it goes out of bounds immediately following a missed field goal or free throw that hit the rim.
The shorter shot clock after an offensive rebound has been a staple of international basketball for four years, the WNBA for two years, and the G League and NBA Summer League last year. Teams will have to get back into action a little bit more quickly after offensive rebounds, and that should make more exciting contests at the end of games, avoiding some scenarios where teams will dribble out the clock.
“For the 14-second shot clock, from an analytical standpoint, it doesn’t really play into the game during the course of the game, because most putbacks are shot before that 14 seconds anyway," Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. "But a lot of teams emphasize getting an offensive rebound and getting a 3 out of it. But it does change what takes place late in the game. You have to be mindful of the score when you get an offensive rebound.”
Rule change 2: Clear path foul rule simplification
The rule: A clear path foul is now defined as a personal foul against any offensive player during his team’s transition scoring opportunity in the following circumstances: the ball is ahead of the tip of the circle in the backcourt; no defender is ahead of the offensive player with the transition scoring opportunity; the player with the transition scoring opportunity is in control of the ball (or a pass has been thrown to him); and if the foul deprives his team of an opportunity to score.
The Jazz were one of the league’s most frequent transition fouling teams last season, as they sought to stop fast breaks by the other team through strategically taking fouls. Some worried that the Jazz’s Euro-fouling strategy would be taken away by the rule changes, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Instead, where the rule once asked referees to adjudicate whether or not a defender could have gotten back into legal defensive position, now it’s a bright line: if there’s a defender in front, it’s not a clear path foul. If there’s not, it is.
“As far as the clear path rule, we just understand it better," Snyder said. “Officials had a tough job to referee that play, and that we’re going to make it clearer will make it better.”
Rule change 3: More “hostile acts” can be reviewed
The rule: For purposes of triggering instant replay review, the definition of a “hostile act” has been broadened to enable referees to determine the appropriate penalty for players or coaches if they are involved in hostile encounters with each other, referees or fans.
This just makes sense. The rules limited referees from reviewing certain kinds of bad behavior from players, especially conduct where made contact with referees or fans. Now, the league can figure those plays out.