The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) needs to be applauded for what it is, visionary!
Back on June 22, 2018 when the Edmonton Stingers were revealed to the Alberta Capital, one could appreciate that Chief Executive Officer Mike Morreale and the brain trust of the league saw the abundance of Canadian talent without a place near home to play and literally created one for them.
Almost exactly two years later (stuck in a pandemic), Stingers fans got the news that the CEBL would be the first league in Canada to return to play.
On July 6, 2020 the league visionary status now includes changing the game.
Let’s bring in former SPICE Radio in Vancouver NBA Insider and original Edmonton Stingers Director of Business Operations Kail Schofield to help make the ELAM ending seem more real.
If a regular CEBL or NBA game is really tight in the dying moments, we are treated to a thing of beauty BUUTTT if the spread gets to a point where there not enough possessions left to pull ahead, we get a grinding halt to the flow. A savvy coach (maybe not even savvy…it’s pretty common knowledge) knows the best way to chip away at the lead is the following formula: stop the clock by fouling the team in front, hope the leading team misses one or both free throws, make a rushed 2 or 3, repeat the process.
By using the ELAM target score and eliminating the clock at the end of the game, teams can continue to focus on playing quality offense and defense, without worrying about clock tactics. Fouling becomes detrimental. If a team is in the bonus, they get one shot, plus retain possession. This completely eliminates the strategy of fouling to get the ball back as soon as possible.
Visionary? Not quite. The Basketball Tournament (TBT) has been using this for years. But this will take awhile for the common basketball fan to accept. I don’t know if even I’m ready for it. But I am open to ideas that help improve the flow of the game.
Per Kail’s request, I tuned into a TBT game to witness firsthand an ELAM ending. The game was a blowout game. Typically that would mean the leading team lollygags the ball up the court, stands still dribbling the ball until about 8 seconds left in the shot clock before running a quick play to put the ball toward the hoop because killing the clock is more important than actually scoring. The combination of removing the clock from the game and setting a target score, which is what the ELAM ending does, made that finish tolerable because it was business as usual for the offense. That alone sold me on this new finish.
The CEBL Summer Series tips off on Saturday July 25. Our Edmonton Stingers take the court on Sunday July 26.