NBA’s new rules may quicken pace

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE -

LAS VE­GAS — The NBA wants to see its games go a bit more quickly.

The league’s board of gover­nors on Wed­nes­day unan­i­mously ap­proved some rule changes that will po­ten­tially elim­i­nate four time­outs per game, help speed up the clos­ing min­utes of games and em­pha­size quick re­sump­tion of play after half­time.

The changes all go into ef­fect start­ing this com­ing sea­son.

Teams will be lim­ited to two time­outs in the fi­nal three min­utes of a game, in­stead of hav­ing up to three. All four quar­ters will have two manda­tory time­outs, after the seven- and three-minute marks.

“We’re pretty happy with the length of the game,” NBA commissioner Adam Sil­ver said.

“We were more fo­cused on the pace and flow of the game. What we heard from our fans, what we heard from many of our teams, was that the end of the games in par­tic­u­lar were too choppy. And I think since I was a kid, that was an is­sue peo­ple were talk­ing about, the last two min­utes of games.”

Sil­ver said the full com­ple­ment of TV com­mer­cial op­por­tu­ni­ties will still be avail­able to the league’s broad­cast part­ners, and that the league doesn’t be­lieve player in-game rest will be af­fected by speed­ing up some as­pects.

Also, all half­times will be 15 min­utes and de­lay-ofgame penal­ties will be is­sued if teams are not ready to im­me­di­ately play when the in­ter­mis­sion ends.

“These changes will help us ful­fill our goal of im­prov­ing game flow and pace of play,” NBA pres­i­dent of league oper­a­tions By­ron Spru­ell said.

“Fewer stop­pages and less time with­out ac­tion, espe­cially at the end of a game, will fur­ther en­hance the view­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for our fans.”

The league also changed the trade dead­line, mov­ing it up so teams would not have their ros­ters sig­nif­i­cantly al­tered dur­ing the All-Star break.

This sea­son’s dead­line will be Feb 8 — 10 days be­fore the All-Star Game in Los An­ge­les. Un­der the old sys­tem the dead­line would have been Feb 22, when teams are get­ting ready to re­sume their sea­sons after the break.

“It was some­thing we’ve dis­cussed for sev­eral years,” Sil­ver said, adding that, if an All-Star is traded cross-con­fer­ence be­fore the game, de­ci­sions on what to do will be made on a case-by-case ba­sis.

The NBA’s com­pe­ti­tion com­mit­tee unan­i­mously rec­om­mended the rule changes to the board of gover­nors. It also con­sid­ered mak­ing other tweaks — such as the oft-crit­i­cized play where so many shoot­ing fouls are now called on 3-point at­tempts, of­ten when the of­fend­ing con­tact there seems to be ini­ti­ated by the of­fen­sive player.

But no changes are com­ing at this point.

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