Change would bring NBA more in line with college and international play…
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The NBA will evaluate if a shorter game is more beneficial to the league and players with the Brooklyn Nets taking on the Boston Celtics in a 44-minute game on Sunday.
The game will be four minutes shorter than the NBA’s standard 48-minute game and the league has revealed that there will be four 11-minute quarters along with fewer mandatory timeouts.
Although there are no plans to apply the changes to competitive action when the season gets underway just yet, the league are keen to judge whether or not the shorter game allows proceedings to flow better and is a more enjoyable experience all round.
“At our recent coaches’ meeting, we had a discussion about the length of our games, and it was suggested that we consider experimenting with a shorter format,” Rod Thorn, the NBA’s president of basketball operations, said in a statement.
“After consulting with our Competition Committee, we agreed to allow the Nets and Celtics to play a 44-minute preseason game in order to give us some preliminary data that will help us to further analyze game-time lengths.”
During the Nets-Celtics game, there will be two mandatory timeouts per quarter, which is a change from the current format which allows for three mandatory timeouts in the second and fourth quarters.
A shorter game will bring the NBA closer in line with the college and international format where the games are 40 minutes, but the difference it will potentially make for the players is also key.
Four minutes less in each game totals up to 328 less minutes over the course of an 82-game season which would translate to around seven less games.
That will likely take some stress off the players over the course of a gruelling season, with many previously calling for the regular season to be shortened.
However, Nets coach Lionel Hollins wants to see how the changes pan out during the pre-season clash as he wants to see how a shorter clock will affect playing time and substitution patterns and overall game management.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens echoed those sentiments but the decision has created debate elsewhere with Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra calling for there to be less games overall despite his backing for the idea in pre-season.
Meanwhile, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was less supportive of the plan, insisting that he “can’t get enough NBA” and that “more is better”.