One of the biggest storylines through the NBA Playoffs has been the usage, and results, of official replay review. This wasn’t as vital in the Utah Jazz series in the first round with the Memphis Grizzlies because Memphis was outmatched and Utah was clearly the better team. But as the postseason grinds along, the games get tighter and the calls of the referees become more vital. When things are that important, inconsistency is not welcome. But it happens. Officials are picking plays, without complete consistency, and dissecting the replay frame-by-frame.
While this has been a point of contention on television and radio broadcasts, it’s not as simple as some would suggest. According to the latest SB Nation Reacts survey, more than two-thirds of NBA fans still approve of the use of official replay reviews.
These are arguably the very best athletes in the world, moving very quickly at the highest level of basketball possible. Sometimes you need to take a 2nd look.
Despite the overall support, there is clear room for improvement, according to fans. More than three-fourths of fans around the country believe there needs to be a time limit placed on the official reviews, preventing the referees from looking at replays for extended periods. This makes sense - the flow of the game gets disrupted far too often. The viewing experience suffers, and while NBA die hards may stick around through thick and thin casual fans will lose interest - and fast.
Another idea that could help with the staggered nature of the final two-minutes of play is limiting the amount of times officials are able to go to replay. Fewer breaks, more action. However, a majority of fans are against this as an option, which also makes sense. If it is worthy of review, and review exists, you may as well get it right no matter how many times it is needed.
At the heart of the issue for many fans is what the desired result should be in actuality. The increase in amount of cameras and technology of them has given everyone from officials to fans at home the ability to see extreme detail. But is seeing, for instance, whose finger last brushed the ball what is most important? Or should the decision be instead based on who caused the ball to go out of bound? Does the rule’s wording itself matter more than the reason it exists in the first place?
According to nearly two-thirds of fans, officials’ decisions should be based on the spirit of the rule instead of the strict letter of the law.
To vote in the Reacts surveys and have your voice heard each week, sign up here.