NBA officiating change should delight fans who want accountability

2016 NBA Finals - Game Four

NBA fans, get ready for some serious Monday morning quarterbacking after playoff games this season.

Or should I say Monday morning officiating?

The NBA took a nice step toward accountability - which is always a good thing - on Friday with an announcement of an expanded feature during the playoffs this season.

The NBA released a statement detailing the changes, which expand the "Last-Two Minute Reports," where every call, or non-call, from an official is broken down the next day in a report released to the public.

The reports used to be issued only when the game was within five points with 2 minutes left in regulation or 2 minutes left in any overtime period.

However, in addition, the league is expanding games that qualify for the report to be issued to include all games that are within a three-point margin (or less) during those 2-minute periods.

It's a logical change, as really there's not much drawback to increased transparency (except, of course, for the person tasked with preparing the report.)

As any NBA fans knows, the playoffs bring with them a certain level of controversy when it comes to officiating. It happens every year.

And while it might be ultimately unsatisfying to know that your team was at the wrong end of a big call in a big playoff moment, at least your suspicions of poor officiating can be confirmed - or denied.

There have been several instances over the years where these 2-minute reports have been news, but one that stands out from last season had to do with an Oklahoma City Thunder victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals, a crucial Thunder victory that led to the series win.

The report acknowledged that Danny Green of the Spurs was called for a foul in the final minute on Kevin Durant that should not have been called. In addition, Kawhi Leonard should've been called for a foul later when he fouled Russell Westbrook in an attempt to stop the clock.

Westbrook instead made a three-point play, which sealed the win.

San Antonio Spurs v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Three

The decision to extend the instances of the reports has opposition.

As you can imagine, the referees hate them. Players such as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, along with Kevin Durant, have spoken out about the reports or some aspect of them.

For fans, though, there's pretty much no drawback to the process, and any expansion of it is a good thing.

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