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NBA to expand use of instant replay for flagrant fouls, at end of games

Jul 20, 2012, 12:39 AM EDT

NBA Finals Game 3: Los Angeles Lakers v Boston Celtics Getty Images

If you have instant replay — the ability to get close calls right — you should use it. Better to drag the end of a game out a little and have the calls be right than to rush and be wrong.

Along those lines, the owners voted Thursday to expand the use of instant replay in specific situations. Those are:

On all flagrant foul calls. Previously referees could only review a flagrant 2 call, the more severe that called for ejection. That led to some awkward decisions, let’s just call this the Udonis Haslem rule. Now if it’s a flagrant it can be reviewed. As it should have been at the start.

On late game goaltending/restricted area calls in the final two minutes of games. Again, you want calls to be correct at the end of games so this makes sense. Allowing the referees to review goaltending calls, which is a little more straightforward, is pretty easy.

The restricted area thing gets more complicated, because block/charge calls are often borderline and involve a lot of factors at once. As Zach Lowe asked at Sports Illustrated:

Take this scenario: A referee whistles a defensive player for a blocking foul and points to the restricted area semicircle, indicating the defender was inside the circle, and that his position there was the reason for the call. Imagine that upon video review, it turns out the defender was actually outside the circle. But also imagine that video review reveals the defender was moving in a way that would be a violation regardless of his positioning in or out of the circle–an illegal bit of movement the referees missed on first look.

Do you stick with the original blocking call because of that illegal movement, or overturn the original call and rule the play a charge, based on the defender being out of the circle? A league source says the reversal would be mandated, and if that’s the case, the NBA has gotten into dicey territory here.

The owners discussed the issue of flopping but no rule changes were mandated. But that also is tricky, to give the referees more power over a call that, depending on your angle and the speed of the play, can be hard to call.

The more likely flopping answer is review by the league office the next day and fines.

  1. charlescub80 - Jul 20, 2012 at 1:07 AM


  2. BrownsTown - Jul 20, 2012 at 7:11 AM

    Darren Collision might call it the Dwyane Wade Rule.

    • skinsfanwill - Jul 20, 2012 at 9:25 AM

      Darren Collison might want to STFU. Wade has 2 rings, Collison has 2 trades.

      • andyhr17 - Jul 20, 2012 at 10:53 AM

        So….the more rings you have the more you’re allowed to try to hurt someone? Excellent comeback.

      • bougin89 - Jul 20, 2012 at 10:54 AM

        Wow, that is an insightful comment.

        Wade should have been called for a flagrant there, no question. Does it change the series? No.

      • deiong - Jul 20, 2012 at 4:34 PM

        plan fact is wade should have been gone, they woudl have lost to the celtics. but refuse to believe they were given the ring this year.. if this group of players who act horrible grew up with players who had some shred of integrety, i hate to see what the next gen group acts like. used to think wade was a good guy, but he got the garnet syndrome

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