The new In-Season Tournament, now at the end of its group stage, has introduced some new features. One just the new parquet floors, criticized by many players. Another, however, is the basket difference, which counts for the tiebreak and determine placement in the rounds, and it also matters a lot since each team only plays a total of 4 games at this stage. The latter is a first in the NBA and some players are having a hard time getting used to it. A few days ago Domantas Sabonis, probably more accustomed to this rule being used in Europe, had scolded teammates who had not remembered to shoot on the last possession, even though the game was virtually over.
In the NBA (but not only) there is in fact the unwritten rule that, out of respect for the opponent, if the game is now decided the leading team avoids shooting in the final seconds of the game, so as not to further inflict injury on the loser. With the rules of the In-Season Tournament this perspective is reversed, at least in matches valid for the tournament. And so it happens that in the last game between Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls, won by the Canadians 121-108, Pascal Siakam attempts to score from three with seconds left before the buzzer. final despite a nearly 15-point lead. A behavior that infuriated DeMar DeRozan, who went on a rampage and was expelled.
from players wondering why their bench is yelling to score at end of blowouts, to Memphis crowd tonight, now this in Toronto: there continues to be confusion across the NBA why teams arent dribbling out the clock. DeRozan tilts here, Rajakovic tells him “in-season tournament!” pic.twitter.com/YoPcMKnWyu
– Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) November 25, 2023
In the postgame, DeRozan explained that he doesn’t care what the rules of the tournament are; “respect for the game” is more important to him.
I don’t care about the points for the In-Season Tournament. I just want respect for the game. If the score had been the other way around, with us leading, and I had the ball I would have held it until the end. Everyone was yelling at Siakam, “Score, score, score!” Take the win and get out of here. As I said, if the roles had been reversed, I would have respected my opponents regardless of the In-Season Tournament score. Especially without even the shot clock active anymore. That’s just the way I am.