The NBA will experiment with a shorter game clock during an upcoming Celtics – Nets preseason game. Instead of a typical 48-minute game with 12-minute quarters, the teams will play a 44-minute game with 11-minute quarters. The change was proposed during an offseason coaches’ meeting, and the league figures the preseason is an ideal time to test the idea.
“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,” the NBA announced in a press release. “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.”
In addition to the shorter clock, each quarter will now feature two mandatory timeouts. During a typical 48-minute game, the second and fourth quarters feature three mandatory timeouts if neither team calls a timeout within a certain time span.
Both Nets coach Lionel Hollins and Celtics coach Brad Stevens support the experiment. Here’s what Hollins had to say about it.
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"When this idea came up at the coaches’ meeting, I thought it was a unique experiment that was worth participating in," said Hollins. "I’m looking forward to gauging its impact on the flow of the game. Since there is a shorter clock, it affects playing time, so it’ll be interesting to see how it plays into substitution patterns.”
The announcement is a bit unexpected. NBA fans and critics have talked for years about shortening the length of the NBA season, but shortening the games themselves has rarely been discussed.
H/T: Sports Illustrated