Blogtable: More Replay Or Less?

NBA refs huddle during a playoff game earlier this year (Issac Baldizon/NBAE)

NBA refs huddle during a playoff game last season. (Issac Baldizon/NBAE)

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


International Shooting Star | About Replay … | Tweaking the Hall of Fame


Major League Baseball just increased its use of instant replay? What do you think of the state of replay in the NBA? Want more? Less? Different?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.comMore replay, please. Just less disruption of the game’s flow while getting calls right. This speaks to the concept of an off-site replay system that could expedite rulings while minimizing the time needed to make them. NBA commissioner David Stern and deputy Adam Silver sound like advocates for this NHL-like process, so it’s likely to happen. When it does — and when the replays are handled swiftly, without three game refs huddling over a monitor for a half-minute too long — I expect we’ll see added use. At some point, I think each coach will be allotted some number of “challenges” similar to what the NFL does and to what MLB will be trying.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: Sure, let’s have replay on every call. Then the Christmas Day games can end on New Year’s Eve. Enough. Enough. Enough already. Besides, if we work toward the goal of getting every single call exactly right, we’ll remove the fun of calling the referee an idiot and eliminate the constant talk of the great NBA conspiracy in favor of large-market teams like the Knicks, who have the fix in to win a championship every 40-50 years.

Jeff Caplan, NBA.comI’m more or less good with NBA replay other than a couple of issues. Last year, replay expanded to rule on goaltending in the final two minutes of regulation or at any time during overtime. I suggest using it at all times. Goaltending doesn’t occur all that often, it affects the actual score and I think it would require only a short game stoppage. Also — and we’ll have to see how this season’s new rule plays out — but I’m not looking forward to refs going to replay with the ability to change a block/charge call, which occur quite frequently. These are split-second calls and arguably the toughest to make, so just go with it. I’ll suggest the refs get this call right more often than not, and is it really worth another stoppage, and potentially excessive stoppages, to review a call that could be tough to determine even in super-slow-mo?

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: It’s just about right. There is the possibility of an increase, whether by adding situations or when the replay should be used. If the points with six minutes to go in the first quarter count the same as the ones in the final 30 seconds of the fourth, getting the calls right is just as important. But it’s hard to imagine a decrease in the use of replay.

John Schuhmann, NBA.comThere should be a replay official on playoff games. A referee with a TV in front of him on the sidelines would expedite reviews in the last few minutes and also fix any correctable errors during the course of the game. And while we’re at it, let’s get rid of basket interference and let guys touch the ball after it hits the rim, no matter where it is. Trying to determine if the ball is in the cylinder may be more difficult than block-charge, and officials often get that call wrong.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blog: Here’s what bothers me: How many times have we seen at the end of a game when there’s a contested out-of-bounds call, and the refs gather at the scorer’s table and put on headphones and huddle around a TV and stare … at an image of themselves huddled around a TV staring at an image of themselves? Sure, they eventually escape the rabbit hole and get to the replay, but it’s emblematic of what I feel is the larger issue: The replays can take a really long time. I’m all for getting calls correct, but not at the expense of the the games themselves, which is what it often feels like when there are multiple stoppages of play down the stretch in games. It’s probably impossible to get every call of every game correct, and with all the technology available to us, I applaud the efforts to get as many calls correct as possible. But something has to be done about the implementation of replay as it is in effect today.

Stefanos Triantafyllos, NBA Greece: It’s a “less is more” situation for me. Basketball is a game of mistakes. Turnovers, bad reads in “D”, wrong choices. The same goes with the referees. They are human — believe it or not — so their good or bad calls are part of the game. A team commits around 20 turnovers a game, so the referees have the right to make a few mistakes of their own. Why expect perfection from them? We wouldn’t like to see Ray Allen shoot a 3-point shot he missed again, do we? The same with the refs.

31 Comments

  1. joe muek says:

    thank you!!!!! plus it would reduce injury and wouldn’t have players standing like dumies waiting to get run over by a truck

  2. Maurice says:

    Worst argument ever, Mr. Stefanos T.: as if refs and players share anything else, besides their human condition, in the game’s development.

  3. sandro menabde says:

    Stefanos Triantafyllos +1

  4. jon4949494 says:

    Less. It ruins the flow of the game. What happens happens.

  5. JDL says:

    Can we just have charging/blocks removed from the game and just force players to play defense. This has proven successful with the elimination of the hand check rule. I feel this can speed up the game and remove any controversy that results from this stupid rule.

    Just play basketball… C”MON MANNNN!!!!

  6. Seb says:

    Personally, the problem is not more or less replay. The problem is the quality of the calls in some games is SO BAD that it take away all pleasure to actually watch the game. Something has to be done! make it more replay, more refs, better refs, new whole system… Even soccer is better (far from good but still better) with only one main referee plus two subs for the huge soccer field and 22 players.

  7. superstar says:

    if people dont like delays then why do people watch football.
    There is a delay like every 10 seconds in that game

  8. manusyolo says:

    If it is to decide the winner of a game then their should be more

  9. Clippersfan4471 says:

    The whole idea of a video ref is to eliminate the “obviously wrong or missed” calls. It is not to let the coaches take a lucky guess or allowing them to disrupt the flow of the game through challenging what the ref has called. I’m all for video replay and preferably with a sideline ref who can view it quicker than the on court refs. However, in Australia where I’m from, video refs in our football codes can take WAY TOO long replaying a play over and over until they convince themselves of making the wrong call. I’d like to see an ex-player who understands the flow of the game but also has rules knowledge as the “4th official”. Players are more likely to respect them as well. Imagine if Michael Jordan was a video ref. Who would argue with his call???

  10. Valere says:

    HOW ABOUT:

    The Coaches get a sort of FLAG to throw if they want a replay. They can do this 2 times in a game, it counts as a 30 sec timeout and if the coach is wrong he’ll lose the timeout if he’s right he can keep it.

    This way the coach has the limited control to call and to decide which play is important for the endresult.

    Keep the last 2 min and overtime rule though.

  11. J says:

    more! things like…

    everything that is critical to the out come of the game
    buzzer beaters
    flagrant fouls
    hard fouls
    important fouls for e.g. a players 6th foul
    techs and ejections
    reviewing whether a shot was a 2 or a 3 can stay the way it is
    charge calls

    I’m probably forgetting some stuff but those are the basics

  12. basketball fan says:

    No REPLAYS, PLEASE. Everyone make mistakes, so please just play the game. There are to much timeouts and breaks (during free throws, fouls …) already so why would you stretch a game duration even more. Even if refs would monitor every single play still stays a question of criteria. If they allow more fizical play its in favor for certain teams and the other way around, so it will never be completely fair. I just want to watch how the players play and not how the refs making their decisions, also i dont have 3 hours of time to watch ONE game …

    Its just a game, not rocket science

  13. ism says:

    I`d rather narrow down the amount and length of time-outs.
    Especially those purely commercial time-outs are something that’s hard to grasp from a European perspective.
    I like the time-outs, I like hearing what coaches say, but up to 3 hrs with only 48 minutes of true playing time is JUST TOO MUCH!

    Plus I would love some trash-talk mics on players and coaches :>

  14. Yeah says:

    1) Coach challenges
    2) Seriously fining or even laying off referees for bad calls after the game
    3) Replay dedicated referee
    4) Refs under both baskets

  15. lens2film says:

    Solution
    I think they should have a group of refs OFF THE COURT and AWAY FROM THE CROWD that decide calls who have monitors and headphones already on. They also should not hear the broadcasters and their bias talk. Once a review is signaled, they have already been looking at the play and can make the decision without the bias of the floor refs trying to pretend they were correct. This will talke only about 30-40 seconds at most and will also keep the floor refs in check, knowing that there is a “Higher Power” looking down on their calls. If it is a SUPER URGENT call and can swing a major game in either direction, then the floor refs can put on some headphones and stare at their own butts for 3 min. before they review the play on the on-court-monitor.
    Done.
    I should get paid for coming up with this idea.

  16. MJ says:

    offsite reviews is a needed to eliminate the delays

  17. Karlo Garcia says:

    I would like to see MORE REPLAYS in retrospect to having replays for the 1st,2nd,3rd & 4th qtrs not just the 4th qtr in the last 2 minutes or so. Basketball is played for 4 quarters not just 1 so why use the replay in just the 4th qtr in the last 2 minutes? I may also add have a number of limited video review replays per qtr( 3 review replays per qtr).

  18. Phil2n says:

    fran-blinebury just want to troll .. hahaha.. the comment that made my day

  19. TrueNBAFan says:

    How about just keep it how it is now, and start fining Refs for making outrageous and obvious bad calls.

  20. OKC2014 says:

    I like it, but I also feel like the refs use the opportunity for their 10 minutes of fame. I mean, how many times can they huddle, look at it, then huddle again, then look at it again? C’mon, make a decision! And make it quick. You lose momentum and us viewers have other games to watch and other teams to catch up on!!!

  21. J says:

    Nba should have coach challenges and replay ref at every game

  22. phldude says:

    Definitely more replay! Also, it should be 4 referees in each game (especially playoffs), one stationary on each end, and two move around the middle part of the court, so every fast break there’ll be a referee waiting under the basket to catch any foul, otherwise expecting the referee running faster than those fast running players to catch any foul around the basket is like asking rooster lay eggs. (referee made most mistakes during fast break)

  23. Ali says:

    To be honest I think a little more would be beneficial. It would be very interesting if between quarters NBA Officials would check plays they felt were wrong, thus not stopping the flow of the game. Of course this is not possible for all plays, you cannot award someone free throws that are owed from 10 minutes ago. However, you can take a look at plays where it could be a charge, goal tend, 3 or two pointer etc. I think the league does this currently but not to the extent where they should be doing this. I really wish ref’s would not swallow their whistle in late game situations as well.

  24. Lix says:

    one word: FLOPS

  25. BlackObama says:

    Defensive 3-in-the-key? No hand-checking?
    The league is “stop and go” like Birdman said..
    Its football, y’all. Yeah, why not instant replay?
    And give the coaches 2 “challenges” on any call (especially late game flops)
    that Miami vs. OKC finals series was utter B.S. with the flopping. Wow, NBA, Wow!! “Amazing Happens!”

  26. Luis says:

    One ref sitting in a room making decisions doesnt sound correct either. So this one person has the power to make THE CALL. Give the coaches 2 reviews per game on anything they want, 2 or 3 pointer, foul call (flagrant only), goal tending and so on. Sometimes even the coaches are annoyed by the duration of the review, even if it could be in their benefit.

    • Clippersfan4471 says:

      At least that 1 ref has the advantage of viewing the play in slow motion and numerous times. My biggest issue is that sometimes the “video ref” can take way too many looks and end up with the wrong call anyway. It really should be a “gut instinct” of what they see straight away, just like the refs on the court.

  27. slider821 says:

    How about having a dedicated referee for replays sitting in a back room somewhere to make the replay decision happen quicker. It’s frustrating when watching it on TV, the correct call is apparent minutes before the officials even see the replay on the courtside TVs. Leaves players and fans waiting unnecessarily. That being said I am all for more replay if it improves the accuracy of the calls.

  28. Akeem Asante says:

    After the fact, some 3s are converted to 2s, without disrupting the game. This could also be implemented with bad foul calls. It is too detrimental to a player, his team and to that particular game to put an unwarranted, game changing foul on a player. Fans don’t watch to see their favorite stars on the bench, esp. unfairly so.