Less time, fewer timeouts among changes for coaches
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.