Big changes are coming in the NBA in 2022-23. After much deliberation, the league's Board of Governors has finally approved the new rules with regards to the transition take foul, now imposing heftier punishment for it.
Not only that, but the league is also officially adopting the Play-In tournament to be part of its regular season format after much success in the past two seasons.
New Rules For NBA Transition Take Foul
According to the official announcement from the NBA, transition take fouls will now warrant one free throw to the offensive team, in addition to reatining the possession and a common foul assessed to the defending side. Any player from the team in the game when the foul was committed can take the extra free throw.
Previously, transitional take fouls were just assessed a common personal foul and the offensive team only merely retains possession. The league described transition take fouls as an intentional foul committed to deny the offensive team a fast-break opportunity.
However, there are some tricky details about the rules. Teams are actually allowed to do transition take fouls in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter or any overtime without being restricted by the increased penalty.
Under the new rule, teams may commit a take foul during the last two minutes of the fourth quarter and the last two minutes of any overtime period (regardless of whether the foul occurs during a fast-break play) without triggering the heightened penalty. This exception will allow the defensive team to use the longstanding tactic of taking a foul to stop the clock during an attempted comeback or prevent the opposing team from potentially tying the game with a three-pointer.
The league also made some clarifications about the rule. For one, if a defending team fouled the opposing player before he advances the ball, it will still be subjected to the new penalty. After all, it is counted as preventing a scoring opportunity on the fast-break.
Likewise, fouling a player who doesn't have the ball in transition also falls in the same penalty. If the offensive player is in the act of shooting, however, it will be counted as a shooting foul.
The NBA Board of Governors today approved a change to the playing rules that will impose a heightened penalty when a defensive player commits a “transition take foul”and approved the adoption of the NBA Play-In Tournament on a full-time basis. pic.twitter.com/zeEDP4JEp5
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) July 13, 2022
NBA Play-In Tournament Is Here To Stay
Apart from the transition take foul rule, the NBA has also decided to keep the Play-In tournament on a “full-time” basis.
There is no doubt the format has added excitement to what was usually a boring end to the end of the season. With the Play-In, though, those teams outside the Top 8 still have motivation to complete until the end for a shot at the playoffs.
The NBA has certainly loved the results so far, leading the board of governors to keep it. The same format used during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons will stay, wherein the 7th to 10th seeds from each conference will play each other for the seventh and eight spots in the playoffs.
In the current format, the 7th and 8th seeds per conference play each other. The winner moves to the playoffs, while the loser plays the winner of the 9th and 10th seeds match for the final postseason spot.
The NBA Play-In Tournament that was implemented on a one-year basis for the 2020-21 season and extended for the 2021-22 season will now continue on a full-time basis. Under this format, the teams that finish the regular season with the seventh-highest through the 10th-highest winning percentages in each conference will compete to fill the seventh and eighth playoff seeds in each conference.
For the 2022-23 NBA season, the Play-In Tournament will take place April 11-14, 2023, between the last day of the regular season on April 9 and the start of the playoffs on April 15.
There are other rule changes that the NBA is talking, including the possibility of imposing stiffer punishments on team's violating bench decorum. If approved, teams with players often standing away from the bench and obstructing the view of the fans in attendance could receive heavier fines. For example, the Dallas Mavericks paid a total of $175,000 in fines for violating the league's proper bench decorum three times. Can you imagine how much they would have to pay if the proposal is approved?
The league is also said to be discussing an in-season tournament, though details have yet to be released. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, it could include all 30 teams with eight teams advancing and entering a single-elimination round to come up with the winner.
So far nothing has been confirmed with those two plans, though it goes to show that more changes could come to the NBA in the coming years.