The Basketblog

Celebrating the love of the Game.

A couple basketball news stories

From both the NBA and the NCAA:

Study shows racial bias by NBA refs.
NCAA rules committee approves longer 3-point line

Ok, I don’t buy all the talk that the NBA official story is completely illegitimate just because the researchers looked at box scores and not game tapes. They looked at enough box scores that the numbers they’d get would be accurate. If they find that officiating teams of 2 white and 1 black refs call more fouls on black players than teams of 2 black refs and 1 white ref (with teams of three refs of one color being more extreme), that is very likely legitimate.

However, I also don’t think that it is a big deal. The percentage was about 4%. A team of white refs calls 104 fouls on black players for every 100 fouls on white players. That is a difference; but sociological studies have consistently shown that some racial bias seeps into all Americans, with almost every study shows that the percentage of bias is greater than the 4% in this one. I have never noticed racial bias, and there’s always someone to jump on the racism story if there is even a hint of bias but that has never happened. Several players have even come out in defense of the officials since the report came out.

Four percent isn’t big enough to notice or big enough to do anything about. Since no one has noticed it until now, let’s just let it go.

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I think the three-point line lengthening is a great idea. The three-point shot right now is far too easy a shot. Based on point values, shooting 33% from behind the arc is the same as shooting 50% from inside it (10/30 threes = 30 points; 15/30 twos = 30 points). In 2006/07, well over 100 schools shot better than 33% from three-point range in Division I (led by Bradley, I might add). Fifteen teams shot at least 40%, which is comparable to 60% from two-point range.

How many teams, before the three-point line was added, shot 60% from the field? That never happened. Not many individual players even shot 60%, but it only takes a pretty good shooter to hit 40% from three-point range today. This last year, 38 players hit 60% from the field, so there should be about that many hitting 40% from three-point range. Since far more than 38 shoot that well, the three-point shot needs to be made more difficult. If you actually just play the percentages, it would be better to shoot nothing but threes than to shoot nothing but twos.

This move isn’t necessarily about opening up the court like some have claimed; it’s about keeping the game from becoming too easy.

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May 3, 2007 - Posted by | MVC, NBA, NCAA | , , , , , ,

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