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Question of the day: Are the NBA rules regarding technicals and flagrant fouls a good idea deep in the playoffs?

May 27, 2010 |  9:05 am


Reporters from around the Tribune family tackle the question of the day, then you get a chance to leave a comment and tell them why they are wrong.

Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel

The flagrant foul rules make sense at any stage of the season. There is no place in the game for dangerous acts, be it preseason, regular season or postseason. Preventing injuries always makes sense.

Technical fouls, however, are another matter, especially when double-technicals are called as a means of defusing a tense situation. Those technical fouls should not count toward the two-and-out rule, just as offensive fouls do not count toward a team's overall total in a quarter.

But, more than that, technicals are mostly about decorum and behavior, and should not deprive fans of seeing a complete team just because a referee's ire has been raised.

Even the two-technical ejection should be eliminated. Instead, increase the number of foul shots, raise the fines, mandate community service.

But don't shortchange fans because an official's sensibilities were challenged.

Josh Robbins, Orlando Sentinel

The problem with the NBA’s technical-foul and flagrant-foul policies in the playoffs aren’t the policies themselves. Players who habitually commit technicals and excessively hard fouls need to have a deterrent in place or the playoffs will devolve into boring slugfests.

Instead, the problem is the referees themselves. The officiating in the 2010 playoffs often has been atrocious. Take the case of Boston Celtics center Kendrick Perkins in Wednesday’s Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. Already saddled with one technical, Perkins committed a sketchy touch foul on Dwight Howard; when the call was made, Perkins reacted and then continued to reach as walked away from the referee.

Because Perkins was walking away, he didn’t deserve that technical; indeed, the league office rescinded that tech on Thursday — further proof that the official didn’t have a grasp of the situation.

The league must do a better job of selecting the referees who work the games in the first place.

Updated at 12:49 p.m.

Paul Doyle, Hartford Courant

We understand the intent of the NBA’s technical foul and flagrant foul playoff punishment. Let’s keep the game crisp and clean and civil so fans are seeing the best basketball in the most important games.

It’s a great idea in theory, until we consider the folks issuing the fouls. The NBA referees are bad all season and they’re especially poor in the playoffs, when all eyes are on the league. Too often, technical fouls are called because of a cross word or show of disrespect.

Sorry, but fans aren’t tuning into ESPN or TNT to watch the referees in action. The idea that a playoff team could lose a significant player to the two-technical rule is absurd because the judgment of the referees is so subjective — use a few naughty words and the whistle blows.

Thankfully, the league rescinded a second technical on Celtics center Kendrick Perkins and Boston won’t lose a starter for Game 6 vs. Orlando. But the very idea that the league had to step in shows that a change in the rule is needed.

Updated at 2:25 p.m.

Broderick Turner, Los Angeles Times

It’s obvious that the playoffs become more intense and the players are more passionate in the postseason than during the regular season.

But that doesn’t mean the rules from the regular season shouldn’t still be applied during the playoffs.

If players are called for technical fouls during the regular season, they should be called for technicals during the postseason.

If players are called for flagrant fouls during the regular season, they should be called for flagrants during the postseason.

No one wants to see a player get thrown out of a game or suspended for a game in the playoffs. But the rules can’t be changed because of that.

Maybe the officials should give the players and coaches a little more room to express themselves because they all know so much is at stake.

Photo: Boston Celtics' Kendrick Perkins, right, talks with a referee after his second technical foul and automatic ejection during game five of the Eastern Conference finals against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday. Credit: Brian Blanco Corbis / European Press Agency.