Across the NBA, the recent debate has concerned “load management” and how teams should handle using their stars. In an effort to reduce the length of games and promote less rest days, an NBA rule change involving a target score in overtime is being considered. Many former players, such as Charles Barkley, have lobbied for NBA coaches to have their players partake in every game. The question is, how will the rule change help the Milwaukee Bucks and the rest of the NBA?
Fans Already Irate Over Potential NBA Rule Change in OT
In a recent Bleacher Report article from Eric Pincus, he revealed the NBA has been considering implementing a target score in overtime. NBA fans have seen this before, with the All-Star game and also now in the G-League where it has been used for full games in one instance. The trial run of having a target score dictate the game did not go as well as the NBA has hoped. A target score for overtime, however, has received a much better reception as a potential NBA rule change.
How old is the NBA? How many games go to double overtime? How many players have died from playing an extra 10 minutes? Isn’t there a reason a team carry’s 12-13 players on its game roster? Again…like baseball, stop screwing with the game! pic.twitter.com/vcKCKQNsPd
— Mark Elliott (@MarkElliottShow) February 28, 2023
While it has received a “better” reception thus far, NBA fans are still not happy. Some responses in particular have been rather negative to the idea. The argument the NBA has made for the change is to reduce lengthy games and broadcasts due to overtime. A target score will reduce the teams from over-playing their players, which in turn should limit the amount of rest days, in theory. In practice however, some stars may choose to keep their days off regardless.
NBA Rule Change: How it Helps Bucks, Celtics, Hurts Cavaliers
As with any change, if it happens, there will be teams who benefit from it and others who will not. For example, a team like the Celtics could potentially benefit from the NBA rule change. The Celtics have played in nine overtime games this season and scored 101 points. The Celtics average 11.2 points per game in overtime, however they are currently 5-4 in those games. Implementing a target score could allow the Celtics to end their overtime games early, and perhaps win an extra game or two.
The same can be said for the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team. The NBA rule change would allow the Bucks to finish their overtime games faster. Currently, they are 3-1 this season in overtime with wins over the Celtics, Thunder, and Raptors. The Bucks held the lead the entirety of those games in overtime, meaning they would have likely also hit the target score first. The target score may come very close to the score the Bucks and other teams already get. That would mean most games may end a few minutes quicker, but will result in a similar score.
While it could help teams close out games faster, the NBA rule change could also hurt certain teams. The Cleveland Cavaliers are a perfect example due to their success in overtime. Cleveland is a perfect 6-0 this season in overtime, averaging 12.2 points and putting on entertaining performances. Implementing the NBA rule change into overtime games would harm the Cavaliers and take away that entertainment from the fans. While it is still just a concept at the moment, the fans are hoping it stays that way.
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