Sixers briefed on what to expect from officials
Undoubtedly, the Sixers are inundated with meetings. They watch film, study the playbook and listen to coach Doug Collins pass on some wisdom or pearls aimed to motivate.
Sometimes when it gets to be enough, a player like Thad Young will tell the coach that maybe another meeting is a little too much. After all, when it comes to meetings, often less is more.
But the meeting after practice on Tuesday at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine was one the Sixers stuck with the entire time. After all, this meeting was one where the ballplayers actually could pick up some sort of competitive advantage.
NBA referee Mark Wunderlich met with the Sixers after practice to brief the players on what trends and tendencies the officials would be zeroing in on during the upcoming season as well as some insight on the new rules added to the book this year.
According to Collins, the players heard about the new types of plays that could be reviewed during the game. Already there were 11 types of plays that could be reviewed via instant replay, notably, made shots at the end of quarters, flagrant fouls and whether a made shot was a two or three-pointer.
Added to the list of reviewable plays are goaltending calls as well as charge/blocking calls. Interestingly, charge/blocking foul calls are only reviewable in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter or in overtime.
Another addition to the rulebook for the season is the anti-flopping edict. The NBA defines flopping thusly:
“Flopping” will be defined as any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player. The primary factor in determining whether a player committed a flop is whether his physical reaction to contact with another player is inconsistent with what would reasonably be expected given the force or direction of the contact.
However, a “flop” can only be called after the fact via replay. It carries a warning for the first offense and a $5,000 fine for the second offense. The fine increases by $5,000 for each instance after the second all the way to $30,000. After that, a player faces a suspension.
“That’s going to be very subjective,” Collins said of the new rule. “It’s my understanding that it might not be called during the game. They’ll look at it on tape and issue a warning. Then, the fines get back to $30 grand. It can get pretty penal.”
It’s also quite controversial. Mavericks All-Star Dirk Nowitzki called the rule “a bunch of crap.” After all, a player could flop, get away with it and not face any consequences until well after the fact.
Still, players think the rule is good in theory.
“I think it’s a good call for the game because it has gotten out of control,” Sixers guard Jason Richardson said. “The only thing is it doesn’t affect the game right away. They should do something where it’s a technical instead of waiting to review the play. If flopping is a big play in the game, they come back later and it’s not helping me out now. I’d rather see it have an impact on the game than later down the road.”
As far as how the rule relates to him and his teammates, Richardson isn’t too worried.
“I’m not a flopper, so I feel sorry for them because it’s going to hit their pockets more than mine,” Richardson said with a smile.