NBA cuts down on time­outs to speed up games

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - TIM BONTEMPS LAS VE­GAS —

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.

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