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NBA and FIBA: what's the difference?

What is the difference between NBA and the european basketball FIBA? Court size, regulations and much more.


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NBA

The NBA season, as we know, is long and full of games, among them, some not very exciting. On the one hand, millions and millions of dollars at stake and, on the other hand, the interest of the team and players in maintaining a good balance between activity and rest.

We know the issue by the NBA management to be responsible for considerable economic losses. All this means that the best basketball starts to show with the NBA Playoffs; that doesn't mean the NBA isn't worth watching for the best Basketball selections; but of the 82 regular season games, how many are really allowed to be watched in terms of intensity, competitiveness and relevance?

So let's look at what happens in the top European club competition, the Euroleague, which provides for a regular season of 34 rounds in which the 18 admitted teams play against each other.It is good to know, however, that between NBA basketball and what we usually call "FIBA area", there are differences that go beyond simple annual "scheduling".

First of all the court; To host Euroleague matches, a pitch must measure a minimum of 14 meters wide by 26 meters long, a far cry from the NBA's 15m x 28m minimum. For many Americans "Bigger is better" and so the arenas have equipped themselves with 17m x 30m court. Even the 3-point shooting line shows some differences between the old and the new continent: in FIBA it is set at 6.75m from the basket for its entire semi-circumference; while in the NBA it ranges from 7.25m "top of the key"; at 6.72m in the corners, making shooting from corners the most rewarding and most feared of all the NBA.

This involves a more heated physical confrontation than in the NBA, where also the referees management tends to empower the defenders and protect the attackers. It is a tactical advantage for defenses that can help and recover without getting too out of balance. The NBA is often attributed with the customs clearance of the three-point shooting, while in Europe the use of the 3-point shooting has grown steadily since 2012; this is because on a European court it is physically more difficult to find space to attack the iron.

On average 60% of the baskets are the result of an assist: Real Madrid, fourth in their league, have the same percentage of the Golden State Warriors 66%, second in the NBA, just behind the Phoenix Suns 66.4%. All lined up behind coach Vives' Zenit St. Petersburg which reports 67% of baskets assisted. In some ways it is a cultural aspect, but sticking to mere technique, we can conclude that European teams pass the ball more to respond to the need to move the defenses, in the court where it is more difficult to isolate the best striker one on one. Despite this, the teams have excellent levels of performance: the average offensive rating is 113 points out of 100 possessions; the Dallas Mavericks, at the time of writing, are first in the NBA with 116.5, Rockets and Bucks chasing at 113.

It must be said that the Mavs, and in general the NBA teams, play on average well over 100 possessions per game, while the Euroleague teams, also thanks to the shorter playing time available on the clock, hardly exceed 75 possessions. In fact, in Europe four quarters are played from ten minutes while, as we know, twelve minutes per quarter are played in the NBA.

Another difference is in the 3-second rule in the area: NBA referees apply it both in attack and in defense; in Europe it is not forbidden for the defender to stay in his own area for more than 3 seconds. This certainly helps zone defenses, which can put large centers guarding the iron, but it also makes attacks more sensitive to the idle.



Euroleague

The NBA season, as we know, is long and full of games, among them, some not very exciting. On the one hand, millions and millions of dollars at stake and, on the other hand, the interest of the team and players in maintaining a good balance between activity and rest.

The top European club competition, Euroleague, features a regular season of 34 rounds in which the 18 admitted teams play against each other. It is good to know, however, that between NBA basketball and what we usually call "FIBA area", there are differences that go beyond simple annual "scheduling".

The European game is more frenetic and does not facilitate the great saxophone solos of the attackers, who cannot hold the ball in their hand without playing it for more than five seconds. Often the coaches try strategies at the limit of the experimental to obviate particular tactics of the opponent, relying on very complete players technically.

The use of small-ball and horizontally rapid quintets is now widespread, which can intercept the passing lines and open the counterattack. In Euroleague the season is extremely condensed, having to take into account also the calendars of the national championships, so a defeat at the wrong moment of the season can cost dearly, making you lose access to the post season. Each game is enriched by the color of some of the most iconic sports facilities on the planet; and by passionate supporters who can sometimes "turn on" in the true sense of the term.

Don't spare yourselves even on the national leagues: our Serie A is becoming more and more a destination for big names and big signings, while the Spanish Liga, the Turkish Ligi and the Russian Super League have been at the top of continental basketball for years, and already include names of weight as: Mike James, Nikola Mirotic or Nick Calathes. Tired of waiting for the NBA Playoffs? Just kill time waiting for a highlight in the technical desert of a match with a 30-point gap between the two teams.




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