D-League New Ball

D-League to introduce new basketball design, makes change for the sake of change

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One of the D-League’s many benefits to the NBA is the opportunity to test-drive new rules and policies. The minors essentially provide a real, basketball laboratory in which changes can be test-driven in a professional basketball setting before NBA implementation, in order to more accurately assess impacts that have been potentially overlooked.

Now though, things are just getting silly. According to Utah Flash president Drew Sellers (via Scott Schroeder of Ridiculous Upside), the D-League will use a new ball next season, with no immediately apparent reason other than to switch things up. There’s nothing wrong with changing the design of the basketball, though I have to ask: what’s the point? Maybe the ball is another experiment in alternative materials, such as the synthetic design the NBA dabbled with a few years back. Or maybe it really is exactly what it looks like: a ball with a different groove design, and no other significantly different features.

There’s nothing wrong with it. It looks fine. The only question is: why? Why make all the players transition to a new feel? Why throw out all of the already existing balls in favor of something new that isn’t really any better? Change is great for improvement’s sake, but when the cosmetic reasons aren’t even all that compelling, it just comes off as a bit odd.

Gordon Hayward beats buzzer, Mavericks (video)

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 18:  Gordon Hayward #20 of the Utah Jazz during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on January 18, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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Rodney Hood got the Jazz to overtime.

Gordon Hayward took it from there.

This extends Utah’s win streak to eight games and snaps a 10-game losing streak in Dallas. The last time the Jazz won in Dallas? Mavericks guard Deron Williams started – for Utah.*

*Those Jazz brought Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews off the bench. Dang

Rodney Hood sends Jazz-Mavericks to OT (video)

during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on January 18, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
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Up three points and the final seconds winding down, the Mavericks had a great chance to intentionally foul Trey Lyles (a 62% free-throw shooter) with his back to the basket.

Instead, they allowed Rodney Hood to hit this shot and get the Jazz to overtime.

Avery Bradley fouls Khris Middleton, who makes game-winning free throw (video)

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The Bucks led the Celtics led the Bucks by 19 in the fourth quarter and four in the final minute.

But Boston completed its comeback when Jerryd Bayless committed a boneheaded foul on Kelly Olynyk with a second left, shoving Olynyk in the back on the inbound. Olynyk sunk both free throws to tie the game.

Then, Khris Middleton got Bayless off the hook.

Middleton drew a foul on Avery Bradley, who was trying to contest the game-winning shot. The Milwaukee wing made one free throw then intentionally the second, and Jae Crowder couldn’t replicate this.

Gregg Popovich shakes head at New Hampshire primary results during in-game interview (video)

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Par for the course, Gregg Popovich gave curt answers to end his in-game interview quickly.

But David Aldridge tempted the Spurs coach, asking whether he wanted New Hampshire primary results. Popovich walked back to hear the answer.

Told Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump won, Popovich shook his head.

Was that disapproval for the Democratic or Republican candidate – or both?