Paul Pierce blogs this suggestion to the NBA today in the BOSTON GLOBE:
Raise the rim three inches: The athletes today are crazy. You see the way guys are jumping these days. I would raise the rim three inches. Then, you have to learn the art of the jump shot. You’ll have to know how to play this game a little bit better then. Raising the rim, you’ll see improved play. You’ll see increasing fundamentals. I’m telling you.
He’s right on all counts, but I think Pierce’s post may have a perhaps unwitting, alternate motivation.
What teams will likely most challenge Pierce’s Celtics in the battle for Eastern Conferene supremacy this season? Orlando and Cleveland.
Now look at the rosters and how those teams would be affected if you raised the rim.
Players who would be most impacted by a rim-raising would be post performers who rely on a paint-based power game. Like Orlando’s Dwight Howard and most of the front court of the Cavaliers. Not to mention LeBron James, who gets plenty of his scores off slashing to the basket - which could be neutralized.
Meanwhile, the primary Celtics’ strength comes more from intermediate and perimeter play.
I know it’s folly to pretend the NBA would actually make the change, but the state of the C’s roster - and their opponents - might give a clue why Pierce made the suggestion in the first place.