NBA cuts down on timeouts to speed up games
For as long as anyone can remember, people have complained about the way the final few minutes of NBA games grind to a halt, straining under the weight of a seemingly endless series of timeouts and stoppages.
On Wednesday, the NBA acknowledged those complaints and attempted to do something about them, as the league’s Board of Governors unanimously approved several rule changes — including reducing timeouts and changing mandatory stoppage times — in attempt to improve both the final few minutes of games and the flow of play throughout all 48 minutes.
Those changes, which were recommended by the league’s competition committee, include: cutting the maximum number of timeouts from 18 to 14; making the mandatory television timeouts after the sevenand three-minute marks of each quarter; allowing each team to take two timeouts in the final three minutes instead of three in two; and dropping from three timeouts to two for each team in overtime.
The league also eliminated the “20-second” timeout from the league’s lexicon. While 20-second timeouts were actually 60-second timeouts previously, and full timeouts were 90 seconds, now all timeouts will be called “team timeouts” and will be 75 seconds long.
Also, the league changed the timing of the trade deadline. In the past, it would always come the Thursday following the all-star game. But after this year’s game was overshadowed by the trade of centre DeMarcus Cousins from the Sacramento Kings to the New Orleans Pelicans, the NBA decided to change the deadline to the Thursday 10 days before the all-star game beginning this season.
That makes the 2018 trade deadline at 3 p.m. on Feb. 8.