Hello basketball fans! Welcome to Patch 20.20, where we here in the NBA Commissioner’s Office have used the extra downtime to implement a major nerf and several buffs to keep the game interesting. Dig into the notes below for what you’ll see on the court!
- Since man-to-man defense is incompatible with social distancing, face masks are about to bring a whole new level to defensive coverage! Get ready for hospital masks, N95 masks, privacy masks, and even face shields.
- 3-point shot decay: We’ve monitored 3-point shooting for a while now and noticed that it’s come to dominate the meta. It’s an important part of the game but we don’t want it to be this important, so we’re implementing a point decay system: each consecutive shot made from behind the 3-point line will be worth 0.2 points less than the previous one (i.e. 3.0, 2.8, 2.6, 2.4…). It will reset when a team makes a shot from inside the 3-point line.
- National Basketball Players Association: Hahaha just kidding just kidding (but really, are they too powerful?).
- Swish: Mid-range shooting needs a rebalance after struggling in the 3-point meta. Even with the new shot decay, we’re doing more to encourage scoring diversity. Making a shot from within the 3-point line without hitting the backboard or the rim will be worth 2.2 points (that 0.2 had to go somewhere!). We’ll keep an eye on this to make sure it’s not an over-correction; we all remember the 2-point free-throw fiasco.
- Maximum Shot Points: 3-point shot decay might hurt buzzer-beaters, so we’re giving comeback chances a major boost. Any shot made before crossing half-court will be worth 5 points and $5,000 to the player’s charity of choice. However, we have to make sure that this doesn’t become the default end-game meta. For each possession during the game’s final minute, the first defensive foul before half-court won’t count.
- Player speed: Afraid that all these changes will cause teams to overlook the basic layup? So were we. To make sure that teams keep driving to the basket, we’re bumping up the pace. This patch will increase the base speed of 100 for both attackers and defenders to 120 for attackers and 110 for defenders. Fast breaks just got faster!
- Charges: This patch will boost Charging in the restricted area to give some extra “oomph” to attackers. Its power will jump from a base of 50 to a base of 75.
- Court Order: Since the buffs make charging scarier and defenders slower, we needed to give some extra protection. Defenders who establish a legal position and draw a charge will now have additional recourse. Fouled players can impose a temporary, 15-foot restraining order against the offending player for 5 minutes.
- Miami Heat will no longer receive a “Heating Up” bonus on free throws.
- Backboards will no longer rebound at 300% power when hit from 45°.
- Minnesota Timberwolves free throw points will now register in Away arenas (we know this has been around for a while, but it has not materially impacted competitive play).
- We are aware of the COVID-19 bug and are working on additional testing.