Centers' Little Helper

Dennis Hans, unrenowned former adjunct professor of mass comm and American foreign policy, relentlessly exposed the Bush administration’s “techniques of deceit” BEFORE the Iraq war, when it could have made a difference (see links). For decades he has fought baseball’s discrimination against lefthanded infielders and promoted his ingenious clockwise solution. A lifelong advocate for a flowing, non-brutal, flop-free NBA, he now champions the cause of its second-class citizens: the centers.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dwight's free-throw routine is illegal
Dwight Howard's current free-throw routine takes 12-to-15 seconds to execute, which means he is in violaton of the time-limit rule, which says "Each free throw attempt shall be made within 10 seconds after the ball has been placed at the disposal of the free-thrower."

Assuming he's been taking this long all season (I didn't put him under the clock until last week), Dwight, through games of Nov. 28, is averaging 7.0 illegal points per game. Thus his scoring average, in a league where rules mattered, would be 15.6 rather than the career-high 22.6 he is currently averaging.

Dwight averages 13 free-throw attempts per game. One would think that at least one of the three officials on hand would get suspicious after the first few interminable attempts, give Dwight a warning and put him on the clock for the rest of the game. Alas, it seems that none of the league's refs — and none of their supervisors in the stands nor the supervisors' bosses at NBA headquarters — knows how to count to ten.

Don't the refs get bored as Dwight — 13 times a game — goes through his tedious ritual? Dwight is hardly the only cause of the excessive length of NBA games, but if he could cut his routine from roughly 13 seconds to 8 everyone in the arena would have an extra 65 seconds to enjoy life. Some fans might even use a portion of that extra time to ponder why a guy shooting a career low .539 from the line was taking so darn long back in the first month of the 2010-11 season.

Not all of Dwight's remaining 15.6 points per game are legitimate. For instance, he benefits from another counting deficiency of many NBA refs: the inability to count to 3. A number of his baskets come after uncalled 3-seconds violations. Those violations often are preceded by an uncalled moving pick out near the 3-point line, after which Dwight barrels into the lane and dislodges a defender, then illegally extends his arms clothesline-style so the defender can't get around him to deflect an entry pass. I mention all this just so no one gets the impression that these unfortunate refs, trained by the most incompetent supervisors in NBA history, would be just fine if only they could count.