The NBA G League is trying to improve game flow, which has led them to try different things in recent years. This time around, the league is experimenting with a new rule which will change trips to the free-throw line.
Starting this season, every time a player goes to the free-throw line, they’ll only have a single foul shot. This shot will be worth one, two or three points depending on the nature of the foul leading to the attempt.
Zach Lowe of ESPN wrote that this move is aimed to improve game flow and reduce the length of games. Moving to a "one foul shot for all the points" model will take off between six and eight minutes off each G League game, according to Brad Walker, head of basketball operations for the league.
Last season, Walker said, the average G League game lasted about 2 hours and 5 minutes. Now, with this move, that time would be reduced to less than two hours. The rule, however, will be reverted for the final two minutes of regulation and overtime, officials said. Shooting fouls on made baskets, the famous and 1’s, will proceed as usual, with the shooter taking one free throw worth one point.
They have made some changes in the past couple of seasons trying to improve game flow, like reducing timeout lengths, a move that didn’t raise any concerns according to Walker.
This is an interesting move that, depending on how it works in the G League, could be applied by the NBA. In fact, league officials brought it up to NBA head coaches at their annual preseason meeting in Chicago earlier this month.
The one-shot rule will be evaluated at the end of the season when the league will decide if they continue with it or not.