Biggest No-No’s in the NBA

Hoop-1 Picture Credit :unsplash

When it comes to professional sports, there are dozens of different angles from which to break down the quality of play. Most people stick to letting expert analysts pick through highlights and replay footage to point out major plays and huge errors. Other times, armchair fans know the ins and outs themselves.

The NBA, for example, includes tons of technical plays and skills that fans like to sink their teeth into. With a fast pace of play and with at least one or two veritable stars on each roster, there are tons of details to crunch through—and mistakes to point out in hindsight, like guarding too loose on defense or opting out of a play inexplicably.

And this isn’t specific to sports, either. For example, if you’re new to playing poker, then you’re going to spend a lot of time memorizing hand rankings and strategies. However, there are deeper nuances at play, like which topics are okay to discuss at the table or how to keep an online game from slowing down. The longer you’ve played poker, the more in tune you are with its dos and don’ts.

The same goes for pro basketball players. They’ll spend time perfecting their technical skills like layups and three-pointers, like a poker player would hand rankings and strategies… but only experience can teach them things like how not to lose track of their time in the box or lose their mark when defending someone like LeBron James or James Harden. And that’s just the beginning when it comes to the biggest no-nos in the league.


Forgetting the Clock
Rookies are usually handed a white flag when it comes to breaking down their first season in the NBA. After all, even top stars need a bit of time to cut their teeth playing in the big leagues. However, that forgiveness is quickly struck as their first games are put behind them. And one of the most common blunders in the NBA, which gets coaches, fans, and other players riled up, is forgetting to watch the clock.

Fans often say that the best portion of an NBA game is the last two minutes. In close games, players will go all-out to land a few more points, and defensive tactics are thrown into the wind in favor of no-holds-bar offensive runs. But behind the madness is a steadily ticking clock—and there’s nothing as soul-crushing as watching a player dribble out the clock in their offensive zone.

Just ask JR Smith, who has yet to live down a clock run-out from the playoffs back in 2018.

Hoop-1 Picture Credit :unsplash

Switching Style for Outside Shots
Back in the mid-2010s, Daryl Morey of the Houston Rockets realized something that would change the league forever: teams that scored more three-pointers had a statistical advantage over teams that scored mostly two-pointers. To give the Rockets an edge, Morey began to train his team around the mighty three-pointer with James Harden in the lead.

While few fans of the Rockets and other three-point-happy teams, like the Warriors, would argue against a three-point-centric approach to winning, other fans aren’t nearly as impressed. Though scoring a three-pointer is no easy feat and requires tons of skill and experience, it’s not nearly as flashy as driving into the box and looking for a layup, alley-oop, or another creative shot. In other words, it seems to be supplanting a data-driven approach to basketball over the sport’s roots as a street game that demands creative style.

Switching Lanes
For those who don’t know, NBA players are contractually obligated to avoid things like boxing, wrestling, driving motorcycles, sky-diving, and hand-gliding… to name just a few pursuits. But another unspoken no-no is switching lanes to play another sport—and it’s something that one of the greats messed up on.

Michael Jordan infamously ended his time with the Bulls to play professional baseball with the Mets. It didn’t pan out well—though it also didn’t prevent MJ from returning to the Bulls and winning more championships. However, it’s still viewed as a highly controversial move. And one that was repeated by Shaq (pro wrestling), JR Smith (golf), and Nate Robinson (boxing).