Thursday, November 30

NBA approves stricter penalties for transition take foul, makes play-in tournament permanent

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One of the most frustrating things to watch in the NBA is when a team gets out on a fastbreak after coming away with a turnover, and instead of seeing a highlight dunk, the opposing team commits a foul to stop the possession. It’s a momentum killer and takes some of the excitement away from the action. However, for the 2022-23 season, the league agreed on changing how it handles the transition take foul.

The league announced Tuesday evening the Board of Governors approved a proposal from the Competition Committee about harsher penalties for the transition take foul, which will take effect in the 2022-23 season. The change will give the team on offense one free throw and possession of the ball if the team on defense commits a take foul. The team on offense will also be allowed to choose which player shoots the free throw, similar to what the G League does with take fouls. The player who commits the take foul will be given a personal foul for the play. 

Previously, the team on offense was just given the ball out of bounds if the opposing team committed a take foul, so this will be a significant change for the upcoming season. The take foul is commonly used in the league as a way to stop fastbreak opportunities, and from a strategic standpoint it’s a smart foul. But it also bails out the defense by stopping play. 

In addition to the take foul rule change, the Board of Governors also approved the inclusion of the play-in tournament for future seasons. The format will follow the previous iterations where the teams that finished 7th through 10th in each conference will compete for the final two playoff spots in their respective conferences. 

This approval comes as no surprise given how exciting the play-in tournament has become in each of the last two years. In the first year of the play-in, we got an exciting showdown between the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors, in which Ja Morant and the Grizzlies sent Stephen Curry and the Warriors home packing. This past season was even more entertaining as Patrick Beverley and the Minnesota Timberwolves celebrated their play-in win over the Los Angeles Clippers like they just won a championship. Since its creation, the play-in has done its job of making games toward the end of the season matter and has incentivized more teams against tanking, so it makes sense the league wants to keep it around. 

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