Better Scoring System for Basketball

I am just putting this up to think about, and it may well be an ‘air-ball’;

Lately I’ve gotten in the habit of only tuning in to NBA games to catch maybe the last quarter or (optimally) just the last 5 minutes. It seems that that’s when play is most intense and the games are often decided. Granted, I don’t know enough to appreciate the nuances of all the play.

I would propose some system where points-towards-standings are awarded for each period of play. Then we’d have more intense ‘action’ in the ending minutes of each period. My original idea was of having 3 15-minute periods with one point awarded for each of the 3 periods. This way even if a team was ‘blown out’ in the first two periods there would still be ‘hope’ and a strong motivation to make an all-out effort to salvage the last period. I can think of other scenarios where points are awarded for each period-play and also overall scoring.

I realize there is zero chance of this ever being implemented and am just throwing it out as something to chew on. On the other hand, if someone were ever starting an alternative league (remember the ABA?) it might be a way to distinguish themselves from the incumbent league. Or perhaps it could be used in some form of tournament play.

Ultimately what would count would be what the media thinks of it - can we sell more advertising? Given that it could keep more ears or eyeballs attached to the game, they may like it.

I like the North Korean scoring system.

8 points for an end of quarter make
-1 for a missed free throw
3 for a dunk
4 for a nothing but net three pointer

The 1997 Finals as scored by North Korea

The CBA tried this (I think it was 1 team point for each quarter led, and 3 for winning the game; since you had to lead at least one quarter (or tie all of them, then win in overtime) in order to win, the winning team always got more team points than the losing team). Needless to say, it didn’t work out very well.

Besides, that doesn’t solve the problem when you get to the playoffs.

I would have loved to see that in the NBA during the Hack-A-Shaq days. There might have been games where Shaq ended up with negative points.

I think this assumption needs to be examined. A close basketball game in its final moments is when all the drama happens, but those moments are often punctuating long stoppages for timeouts and free throws. It’s either boring or a weird combination of boring and harrowing. Playing three equally-weighted periods would mean three similarly bloated endgames within each game, which might end up making the whole game seem stilted and uncompetitive.

Relatively few sixteen-minute periods are going to be blowouts - even if you’re being outplayed pretty significantly in a quarter, you’re often close enough that you’d start fouling and using timeouts to try to get back into it if the game were on the line. Say the Heat are better than the Bucks by 18 points, on average, over a 48 minute game (which is a number I’m making up but which is a heck of a lot), that means the Bucks, on average, are going to be within two possessions of a tie in each mini-game. So stoppages, foul shots, quick threes, rinse and repeat. You’ll get more outcomes, which is more potential for excitement for the non-fan, but you’ll also be stripping a comparatively huge amount of time of its natural rhythm, which is a huge downer for a fan of the game.

I do like the negative point for missed free throw.

And execution by wild dogs for questioning a ref’s call. :smiley: