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Thursday, April 12
Feedback: Zone takes away excitement

An 11-member committee came up with rules to improve the game in the NBA, including the use of zone defenses. Will this rule change the quality of play in the NBA? Here are your thoughts:

Zones will slow us down
I as a fan and as a player am disappointed. I hate playing against zones, and I am sure most guys in the NBA will too, and who wants to watch a game where the guys don't have fun playing it? Not me, and probably not most (read: every) other fan out there. I just hope that if it's true that most of the coaches don't like it, then they won't stoop so low as to using them. Just because the rules let you use it doesn't mean you have to. Also, players have tremendous power over the coach, and so I hope players tell their coach, 'I don't want to play a zone.' This would be nice, but it's not likely.

Dave Lee
Calgary, Alberta

Our opinion means nothing
Once again, we have a case where the people who make the decisions are not the ones who have to live (or die) with them. I really feel sorry for the stars of the game as well as the fans (myself included). Perhaps Shaq will now develop his 3-point shooting.

Keith Hinton
Vallejo, Calif.

Watch the excitement linger away
As it is now, the NBA is a refreshing and exciting game after watching the zone defense played at the college level. What can possibly be gained by adding these same rules of zone defense to the NBA? I believe it would take away from the creative ability of the exciting athletes that the NBA has. Zone defense would kill much of the excitement the NBA has to offer.

Chad Goodman
Salt Lake City, Utah

Zone is good for the game
I think zone defense is good for the NBA. Yes, zone defense allows better help against pogostick jumping athletic offensive players, but that's good! The way to beat a zone is to pass the ball and not try to dribble through it. Maybe we'll finally see simple fundamentals like that in action! Besides, Zone D doesn't slow down the flow of the game. What slows down games is when a player holds onto the ball and constantly fakes an entry pass and points at illegal defenders. Then we have to sit around and watch some guy miss a free throw, then watch the whole thing over again. I doubt great players are going to complain about this rule change because if you worry about not being able to score, then you're not exactly great to begin with.

Richard Campomanes
Arcadia, Calif.

Bowling will be option to NBA
I'm going to have to agree with Fred. Zone defense will destroy the game of basketball. Most basketball fans watch the game to witness spectacular streaks and slashes to the rim. By enacting a zone defense, fans will be less excited about the game. The NBA is all about excitement and zone defense is just the opposite. This rule will send basketball spiraling into the depths of mediocrity among sporting events. We might as well be watching bowling.

Irvine, Calif.

More involvement for fans
I think that the zone will help the NBA and make the games much more fun to watch. In the current NBA there is very little strategy that coaches can employ, but the zone will give them more options, and make the games more fun for fans. As far as taking away the stars goes, Vince Carter's most impressive athletics came in college against the zone. Go figure.

Jeremy Sneeden
Brookings, S.D.

Down to the basics
Of course coaches don't like the rules changes. Coaches don't see anything wrong with the game in the first place, because they have an incredible amount of control as things are. The committee is to be commended for daring to do something bold like this. If it's a disaster they can simply reinstate the rules after the season is over. My gut tells me that anything that encourages passing, shooting, and dribbling is a good thing.

Andrew Wray
Portland, Ore.

Zone not the right match for the NBA
Zone will kill the league. The NBA is not college basketball, rather professional ball. Let guys defend one-on-one. Zone defense is used when a team knows they cannot defend another team. I don't agree with the zone defense, and I hope the NBA does not institute it.

Rotem Cohen
New York, N.Y.

Got to have a shot in zone
It's a horrible mistake. Sure, you'll get less one-on-one and more team play, but will it make the NBA more exciting and more high-scoring? No way, not unless they bring in more European players who know how to shoot the ball. It'll basically become college hoops with a shorter shot clock.

Woodinville, Wash.

Won't make a difference
I don't think it will change a thing in the league. The good teams will continue to use man-on-man and that will continue to win games and the championship! That's the bottom line, zones don't win NCAA titles and they won't in the NBA either. Superstars will continue to be superstars no matter what the defense. Shaq will still own the lane and Iverson will still have an "answer" even when the Bulls try and use a zone to stop them.

Ames, Iowa

Test it out first
I don't understand why the NBA refuses to test out such a dramatic rules change before installing it. What happened to trying new rule changes in the preseason to see if they work a la the NFL's very professional handling of the reinstallment of instant replay? It's too hard to form an opinion about whether zone will help or hurt the league when the board forces these discussions to be purely theoretical!


One step in right direction
I think the NBA's adoption of zone defense will help improve the game. As of late, it is almost unbearable to watch pro basketball. And this is coming from someone who has watched religiously for over 10 years. The fun has been taken out of basketball with low scoring, bump and grind games. I have seen too many games come to a near stand still to support leaving the NBA the way it is. The only thing that the new rules won't affect is pouty, overpaid players that don't care. Eventually for the NBA to return to it's glory days, the change must come from the players.

Aman Bagga
E.Lansing, Mich.

Goodbye, TV ratings
No zones! That will stifle the individual creativity of the players and that is the main reason people watch the NBA. Scoring will drop even further and so will the television ratings.

Wendell Talley
Laguna Niguel, Calif.

Welcome, zone defense
It is about time the zone defense returns to the NBA. I can't think of any other sport that restricts defensive strategy as much as the NBA currently does. The return of zone defenses and the abolishing of illegal defense rules will spark the return of team basketball, five on five. We won't be subjected to watching isolation basketball, and passing and jump shooting will no longer be lost art forms.

Ariel Peikes
Providence, R.I.

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