Five for Friday

We've seen some great ideas since launching HoopIdea last month, but I'm not sure anyone has truly captured the spirit of HoopIdea like Twitter's @ilikecookies, who this week tweeted: "#HoopIdea Let dogs play in the NBA. Blatant dog-ism should be left in the past. Free Airbud!"

Free Airbud indeed.

All right, on to our five ideas to ponder this Friday. This week's set comes from Twitter (follow us at @HoopIdea!), email, and blogs, and includes a revolutionary take on the jump ball. Enjoy!

  • Spike the jump ball! In Aussie Rules Football there's a situation where the teams have to fight for possession -- much like an NBA jump ball. In fact, the players lined up with two opponents facing off in the center, similar to what you might see for a basketball jump ball.But then, the most amazing thing happens ... the ref runs between two players and SPIKES the ball, into the ground, as hard as he could. The players watch the ball go way, way, waaaay up in the air, time their leaps, and have a fair battle for the ball from there.Seeing this my immediate thought was ... can we please have this in the NBA? Jump balls right now are a disaster on multiple levels. First of all, there isn't a ref in the league who can throw the ball up straight. Second, even if there was, the two jumpers often crowd the ref into such a position that it's barely possible for him to throw a fair toss.So how about this, instead: The ref walks into the circle, SPIKES the ball, excuses himself from the circle while waiting for the ball to come down, and then watches further merriment ensue. Sure, it's a minor problem compared to some of the other ones in the league, but it's the type of change that, once they started doing it, everybody would look back and wonder why it was ever done a different way. -- John Hollinger

  • Passes that lead to free throws should be assists. Let’s say Andrew Bynum receives the ball on the low block and spots a streaking Matt Barnes as the double-team comes, whom he then dumps off to. Barnes, ahead of his man, finishes the play at the rim. Bynum is rewarded with an assist. But what if the beat defenders aren’t happy about it, deciding they’d rather burn a foul than let Barnes and Bynum pad the stat box? Well, then Barnes is still rewarded for his part with a trip to the free throw line. Bynum, however, is not rewarded for making an unselfish play instead of forcing up an awkward attempt. Just one of dozens of possible scenarios, give the assist-man some love here by rewarding him with 0.5 assists per made free throw. Isn’t that, after all, “a pass that directly leads to a basket,” the very definition of a basketball assist? -- Clint Peterson, Hardwood Paroxysm

  • Add a personal foul for overtime. Even if the NBA doesn't raise the foul limit to 7+, as Jeff Van Gundy suggested, they should absolutely add an extra foul for games that go into overtime. Players who have already fouled out would remain fouled out. Players who survive to overtime receive a seventh foul to give. -- David Katz (Beckley says: This one makes sense to me, teams get extra team fouls and timeouts. Why not personal fouls?)

  • Abolish illegal defense. NBA teams should be able to defend the half court however they please without the threat of a defensive three-seconds call. #HoopIdea -- @kevinarnovitz via Twitter

  • Play the advantage on shot clock violations. From Jeff Van Gundy a while back: Get rid of the shot clock violation when possession changes. It kills the break. -- @bigbabay via Twitter.


You can give us your ideas and talk with us and other fans in the following places:

And for the truly ambitious: Shoot a short video of yourself explaining your HoopIdea, upload it to YouTube and share the link with us on Twitter or Google+.