Less time, fewer time­outs among changes for coaches

Rome News-Tribune - - SPORTS - By Brian Ma­honey As­so­ci­ated Press Bas­ket­ball Writer

NEW YORK — Mike D’An­toni ran an of­fen­sive sys­tem known as seven sec­onds or less, so he likes things fast.

Good thing, be­cause NBA coaches find things come at them more quickly this sea­son.

They are los­ing time and time­outs, with fewer days to pre­pare be­fore the reg­u­lar sea­son and fewer chances to talk things over dur­ing games.

Throw in new rules leg­is­lat­ing how they can rest play­ers, and there are plenty of ad­just­ments even for vet­eran coaches.

“I think it’s good,” said D’An­toni, the NBA coach of the year with Hous­ton last year. “Take stuff out of coaches’ hands, be­cause we just screw it up any­way. So it’s bet­ter for the play­ers.” Among the changes:

Tues­day’s start is the NBA’s ear­li­est since 1980. It’s a week ear­lier than nor­mal, with the max­i­mum num­ber of pre­sea­son games cut from eight to six.

Time­outs are re­duced from 18 to 14, with each team hav­ing seven. They will be lim­ited to two dur­ing the last three min­utes of games, in­stead of the pre­vi­ous rule that per­mit­ted three time­outs in the fi­nal two min­utes.

Teams can be fined $100,000 or more for rest­ing healthy play­ers dur­ing na­tional TV games, and are dis­cour­aged from rest­ing mul­ti­ple healthy play­ers in the same game or sit­ting them in road games.

Half­time will be 15 min­utes for all games — and the league plans to be dili­gent about start­ing the clock as soon as the first half ends. There pre­vi­ously was a minute or two longer for na­tional TV games, and some­times the clock wouldn’t start un­til all play­ers had cleared the floor.

That change caught the at­ten­tion of D’An­toni, who noted that in some are­nas there is a longer walk from the benches to the locker rooms.

“So in­stead of show­ing 10 clips at half­time, you might only be able to show two or three,” D’An­toni said.

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