The NBA implemented a new coach’s challenge for the 2019/20 season, giving head coaches an opportunity to challenge one questionable call per game that requires officials to pause the contest and review a designated play.
The challenge has mostly received poor feedback from the league’s head coaches, who cite that it bogs down what’s already become a slower last few minutes of the game. Among the coaches who believe the challenge should be changed, despite several contesting it should be removed altogether, is Thunder coach Billy Donovan.
“The thing with the challenge, which to me would be a little bit better, would be if you challenge and you’re successful, you keep your challenge,” Donovan said, as relayed by Maddie Lee of The Oklahoman. “Because what ends up happening is you don’t know when to use it. There’s no time to use it because you can look back the next day and go through every play and say, ‘Okay that should have been a time that I used the challenge. But I used it over here.’ You can’t tell.”
Roughly half of the coach’s challenges have come in the fourth quarter to date, showing teams’ tendencies to hold onto the challenge for when they need it most. Donovan’s idea likely won’t sit well with the portion of NBA viewers who wish the game was sped up in the final minutes.
Here are some other notes from the Northwest Division tonight:
- Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins remains committed to staying aggressive and attacking the basket this season, Chris Hine of the Star Tribune writes. Wiggins has averaged a career-best 24.9 points on 45% shooting through 17 games. He’s seen his numbers slightly regress in the past couple of weeks, but that won’t deter the 24-year-old from continuing to do what he does best. “I feel like that’s how it goes,” Wiggins said. “I just haven’t been hitting. It’s not just shots. It’s layups. It’s stuff around the rim. I’m right there to drop it in, and they’re just going in and out. I’m just going to keep doing the same thing and I know it’s going to drop.”
- Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune examines the easier December schedule for the Jazz, pondering whether the franchise will be able to take advantage of their upcoming games. Utah is just 13-10 through 23 games, good for the sixth-best record in the Western Conference.
- The Nuggets’ success in recent seasons has hinged on players’ ability to sacrifice, Sean Keeler of the Denver Post writes. Denver has a roster loaded with offensive talent, making it imperative that everyone shares the ball and remains patient when it comes to scoring. “It’s definitely unique,” said Jerami Grant, who’s in his first season with the team. “We’ve definitely got a deep team. We’ve got a lot of players that would play a lot more minutes with other teams. But I think everybody who’s come here is willing to sacrifice to be one of the best teams in the league.”