This is quite the streak of me agreeing with all of you. For like the third week in a row, my vote is the same as yours in the SB Nation NBA FanPulse results. This time, we looked at the Elam Ending, which drew rave reviews when it was first implemented in the NBA during this year’s All-Star game. The ratings show fans loved it, but this week’s FanPulse poll responses seem to indicate the intrigue of “targeted scoring” ought to stay with novelty contests like the All-Star game.
While I believe it could be fun to use the scoring in low-energy contests such as the preseason or Summer League, partially wiping out what happened in the first three quarters of a game is tough luck for the team that dominated early. If a team enters the fourth quarter of an NBA game right now up 30, they’re basically guaranteed a win. With no clock in the fourth quarter, that advantage incrementally goes down.
We all like to say the regular season doesn’t matter, but I think introducing another way to devalue the individual games for the sake of entertainment like this would be tough to swallow.
The pace of NBA fourth quarters is a real problem for the league, but to me, this isn’t the fix. Limiting timeouts and fixing refereeing seem like better solutions in the short-term, while also finding more ways to use the Elam Ending to make exhibition games more fun.
Let’s close with the Suns. While the very last of you have finally given up hope of a playoff run (likely thanks to Zion Williamson and the Pelicans going supernova), many more of you have gotten your heads out of the sand and realized things are trending positively.
If I had to posit a guess regarding the sudden uptick in optimism about the future, it would come down to one guy: Deandre Ayton. The big man is averaging about 22 and 11 over the past month or so, maintaining a legitimate nightly impact, and most importantly making big strides on defense.
The Suns’ future will ultimately come down to how good Ayton and Devin Booker can be. When you look at it that way, their strong play lately is a huge reason to be excited, even if the playoffs are out of reach in 2020.
Because I haven’t reminded you in a while, I’ll do it again here. Sign up to participate in the FanPulse weekly poll here to have a say in all the NBA action through the rest of the year.