Early yesterday. the NBA G-League announced some rule changes that will come into effect for the 2017-18 season. The G-League announced that there will be four-person officiating crews during the entire 2017 pre-season and for all of the regular season games taking place in the month of November. This isn't anything new due to the fact last year a similar experiment occurred. Last season, nine games were officiated by both four and five-person crews.
With the ref change going to in affect for a longer duration this time, could end up being a good thing for the G League. But, it also likely gives a more dynamic look into whether or not it will work long-term.
Also, the league announced the new four-round, 12-team playoff format. In which, the teams with the best regular season record in each of their respective divisions automatically qualify for the playoffs as one of six divisional winners. The additional six playoff-team vacancies will be filled by the three "wild card," teams in each conference with the best regular season records other than the division winners.
The conferences will be seeded one through six. The division winners will own the first, second and third seeds. Finally, the wild card teams will have the fourth, fifth and sixth seeds based on regular season records. In addition, the top two seeds in each respective conference will have a "bye" into the second round. The post-season will begin with three win-or-go-home rounds before finishing with a best-of-three NBA G-League Finals -- which will be played in a one-one-one format as per usual.
In terms of the new playoff format, it simply gives more teams an opportunity to chase for a championship. With four rounds it extends the post season a tad, but who doesn’t want more basketball? With addition teams added this year, the new post season format will make the league that much more exhilarating and competitive throughout.
In today's world of sports, there will always be multiple attempts to improve game flow. Well, the G League has announced their new experimental rule changes. Overtime periods will now be two-minutes, instead of the original three minute overtime. The Coach's Challenge has been revised so that all teams will receive one challenge per game. Challenges can be used at any point during regulation or overtime periods. Only fouls that are called, goaltending/basket interference and out-of-bounds calls can be challenged.
According to the G-League, instant replays have been reduced to only five circumstances: Flagrant fouls, two-point/three point field goal attempts, or fouls, made baskets at the end of a period, foul at the end of a period, and of course altercations.
There were two prior experimental rules that will no longer be in effect this season. Technical fouls for flopping will not be assessed in-game, and a postgame warning-and-fine policy similar to what the NBA's will be implemented. In addition, the team penalty foul limit will be reduced from six to five fouls in a quarter before a penalty.
These are just some of the unique changes coming to the G League this season. It’s important for us to note this isn’t the end of implementing new rules. Personally, this is just one example why I love the NBA so much. They constantly try new things/rules to see what works and what doesn’t in the modern day game of basketball. Everything is getting so much faster that it’s important to keep up with what’s happening on the court. That’s why I’m so ecstatic to see them attempt the referee change for a longer period this time.
The 2017-18 NBA G-League season tips off on Nov. 3 with 26 teams competing in a 50-game regular season.