Talking Points: NBA conspiracy theory revisited

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What's the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:

1

If anything, we hope this year's NBA Finals will teach American coaches that when up three with seconds to play, it's a good idea to foul when the ball is inside the 3-point arc.

We have yet to see anybody ever make three points while shooting two free throws.

After Game 6, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich answered a foreigner's question about that strategy by saying "That's a European question." Later, the coach said that's not how it's done in America.

Thanks, Pop, for letting the rest of the world know that American coaches cannot do simple math.

The other night, as soon as the first 3-point attempt was missed, there was a fight for a rebound inside the arc. The Spurs should have hammered the guy who got the rebound.

Make it a free throw game. Up three with 7 seconds to play, all the odds are in the Spurs favor.

No problem, though. The Spurs can just win Game 7.

Whoops.

2

Of all the conspiracy theories surrounding the NBA, here's one that Talking Points can get behind: David Stern has told coaches not to foul when up by three with seconds to play.

The theory, of course, has to do with television. No one wants to watch a free-throw game. The networks want the drama of the late 3-pointer to tie the game.

But if the goal is to win the game, there is no doubt as to the best strategy. The stat models scream to foul before a shot, or at the very least, when a team gets an offensive rebound inside the arc.

Are all NBA coaches ignorant? Or has the NBA ordered coaches not to foul because the game will suffer in the eyes of TV viewers? If those are the only two options, we pick the conspiracy theory.

3

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated tweeted a funny story about a Miami Heat fan. Jack Nicklaus was in the arena Thursday night.

Heat fan: "Hey, you're Arnold Palmer!"

Nicklaus: "No, but close."

Give Nicklaus a birdie for that response to the fan's double-bogey.

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