CHANGING THE RULES MIDSEASON. The NBA has already changed a long-standing rule. I call it a change in a rule because the practice has been a rule: it is well-established that the last two minutes are different than the rest of the game and that the last ten seconds of a game are even more different. The practice has also been that only rarely does the league criticize a referee or acknowledge that a refereeing mistake has been made. Now the rule could be described as follows: sometimes the written rules will be followed and sometimes the referees will be criticized after the fact for not following the written rules.
Until the NBA clarifies the rules by explaining when the written rules will be followed, the referees are in a bad position.
As for the players, the guidance still seems to be to continue to foul (and foul blatantly) an opponent who is taking a last second shot to try to tie or win the game. After all, there have been only two instances where there the NBA has criticized the failure to call a foul on a last second shot, and in those two instances, there was no foul call and the team that fouled won the game.