Give Commissioner Adam Silver this: He’s not afraid to dip his toes in the water. Neither are the Nets, it turns out.
The Brooklyn Nets will play host to a 44-minute exhibition game with the Boston Celtics this Sunday reducing the time of the game by four minutes.
The format reduces each quarter one minute meaning the pair of divisional rivals play four, 11 minute quarters. Both The Nets and Celtics volunteered to try the reduced format.
“When this idea came up at the coaches’ meeting, I thought it was a unique experiment that was worth participating in,” Nets coach Lionel Hollins said in a prepared statement. “I’m looking forward to gauging its impact on the flow of the game. Since there is a shorter clock, it affects playing time, so it’ll be interesting to see how it plays into substitution patterns.”
In addition to reduced playing time, the game will feature a new format for mandatory timeouts:
During this 44-minute game, each quarter will feature two mandatory timeouts per quarter, with the first triggered at the first dead ball under 6:59 of the period if neither team has taken a timeout prior, and the second mandatory timeout will be triggered by the first dead ball under 2:59 if neither team has taken a timeout subsequent to the first mandatory timeout.
The test case seeks to examine several issues. First, is the matter of game time: The average NBA game last two hours and 15 minutes. The exhibition game will be studied closely for an impact on “player-substitution patterns and flow of the game to determine if there’s a better experience.”
Reducing each game by four minutes also can reduce the impact and stress the long regular season has on a NBA player’s body. At first glance, a four-minute game reduction seems small, but it actually leads to 7 less games worth of playing times.
The NBA may also take a look at this format in additional preseason games and select D-League games.
Despite stratospheric team valuations, and a jaw-dropping 9-year $24 billion dollar broadcast rights deal with ESPN and Turner Sports, the Commissioner Silver-led NBA remains fearless when it comes to trying something new.