Not much has been said about the new basketball that is being introduced in the NBA this season. It is the first change in over 35 years. Paul Pierce was one of those who was involved in the unveiling of the ball in the NBA Store on draft night. Each player, including the new rookies, has been sent a personalized ball to work with before the season starts. These new balls were used in Summer League and players have been able to work with them all summer to get used to them.
Early reports about the ball say that it is stickier than the classic ball, which most players said was slick especially when wet from sweat. I can see a lot more turnovers because of the ball slipping out of sweaty hands. This is where Rondo, with his huge hands will come in. He will be able to control even a slippery ball with those huge hands.
The new ball is bouncier according to some of the shooters who have been using it this summer. A shooting coach that works with several NBA players noted that the ball was bouncier, but that because so many different balls are used by players, the ball is not as important to shooting percentage as form. Players with good form shouldn’t see much of a change in shooting percentages, but players who have bad form, or tend to shoot flat shots will likely see this new ball rimming out. I can see Scal's numbers going down now. Since Rondo has worked almost 3 hours a day on his shooting, hopefully with this new ball, and reports from Kevin Eastman say that his form is good, he should be fine with the new ball. I believe that we will see who worked on their shot this off season and who didn't by their shooting percentages with the new ball.
Since the ball is bouncier, it will also change how it comes off the rim and glass, effecting rebounding numbers. Hopefully, Clifford Ray has been working with our guys this season on rebounding with this new ball. Gomes especially rebounds like Bird always did by judging where the ball will come off the rim and being there to get it. If it doesn't bounce the same as the old ball, this may affect Gomes' rebounding numbers.
Every team and every player will be faced with the same problems and with getting used to the new ball and its characteristics. Players who work the hardest and got used to the ball this summer will play better at first than those who didn't. I am very glad that we have some very hard working kids who have worked enough in the off season to be used to the ball by the time they tip off for the season's first game.
I believe from what I read that it is both... They said that it is a bit stickier dry but when it gets wet from sweat, it is slipperier. Expect to see a lot more players putting powder on their hands to keep the sweat down.