Are NBA rules on techs, flagrants OK in playoffs?

May 28, 2010

2-technical rule absurd

Paul Doyle

Hartford Courant

We understand the intent of the NBA's technical foul and flagrant foul playoff punishment: Let's keep the game crisp and clean and civil so fans are seeing the best basketball in the most important games.

It's a great idea in theory, until we consider the folks issuing the fouls. The NBA referees are especially poor in the playoffs. Too often technical fouls are called because of a cross word or show of disrespect. Sorry, but fans aren't tuning in to ESPN or TNT to watch the referees in action. The idea that a playoff team could lose a significant player to the two-technical rule is absurd because the judgment of the referees is so subjective.

Thankfully, the league rescinded a second technical on Celtics center Kendrick Perkins and Boston won't lose a starter for Game 6 vs. the Magic. But the very idea that the league had to step in shows that a change in the rule is needed.

2-and-out should go

Ira Winderman

Sun Sentinel

The flagrant foul rules make sense at any stage of the season. There is no place in the game for dangerous acts, be it preseason, regular season or postseason.

Technical fouls, however, are another matter, especially when double-technicals are called as a means of defusing a tense situation. Those technical fouls should not count toward the two-and-out rule, just as offensive fouls do not count toward a team's overall total in a quarter.

Technicals should not deprive fans of seeing a complete team just because a referee's ire has been raised. So eliminate the two-technical ejection. Instead, increase the number of foul shots, raise the fines, mandate community service.

But don't shortchange fans because an official's sensibilities were challenged.

Refs are the problem

Josh Robbins

Orlando Sentinel

The problem with the NBA's technical-foul and flagrant-foul policies in the playoffs isn't the policies themselves. Players who habitually commit technicals and excessively hard fouls need to have a deterrent in place or the playoffs will devolve into slugfests.

Instead, the problem is the referees themselves. The officiating in the 2010 playoffs often has been atrocious. Take the case of Boston Celtics center Kendrick Perkins in Wednesday's Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. Already saddled with one technical, Perkins committed a sketchy touch foul on Dwight Howard. when the call was made, Perkins reacted and then continued to react as he walked away from the referee. Because Perkins was walking away, he didn't deserve that technical. Indeed, the league office rescinded that tech on Thursday — further proof that the official didn't have a grasp of the situation.

Don't change rules

Broderick Turner

Los Angeles Times

It's obvious that the playoffs become more intense and the players are more passionate in the postseason than during the regular season. But that doesn't mean the rules from the regular season shouldn't still be applied during the playoffs.

If players are called for technical fouls in the regular season, they should be called for technicals in the postseason. If players are called for flagrant fouls in the regular season, they should be called for flagrants in the postseason.

No one wants to see a player get thrown out of a game or suspended for a game in the playoffs. But the rules can't be changed because of that.

Maybe the refs should give the players and coaches a little more room to express themselves because so much is at stake.

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