Hollinger's Insider Gems: Oct. 30, 2008

Five observations as we head into Thursday night's games:

1. Before an October preseason game, other media folks and I got a briefing from the officials on points of emphasis for this season. Officials Sean Corbin, Michael Smith and Tommy Nunez Jr. walked us through a videotape of calls, including the play that I call the Reggie Miller Special. This is when a 3-point shooter kicks his leg way out in front or to the side, and basically trips the defender in midair. On the videotape they showed how this play was supposed to be called an offensive foul, and that it would be a point of emphasis this year.