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The NBA wants to go faster and stop the stoppages.
That was the reason behind the Board of Governors approving a rule to decrease the number of timeouts per game and keep things moving.
Per the United Press International: “Effective with the 2017-18 season, the maximum number of timeouts per game will decrease from 18 to 14. In addition, during the last three minutes of a game, teams will be limited to two team timeouts each instead of the previous rule that allowed three in the last two minutes.”
The board also approved moving the trade deadline from the first Thursday after the All-Star Game to a Thursday 10 days before the All-Star Game. The league’s trade deadline fell on Feb. 22 last season. Next season, it will be Feb. 8.
“With the new placement of the trade deadline, teams will be able to settle their rosters before the All-Star break and avoid the disruptions that result from players joining new teams just as practices and games are beginning to resume following the All-Star break,” the NBA said in a press release.
Per the UPI, the rule modifications for timeouts include the following:
1. Each team will have seven timeouts per game, with no restrictions per half.
2. All team timeouts will be 75 seconds. In the previous format, “full” timeouts were 90 seconds and “20-second” timeouts were 60 seconds. Both “full” and “20-second” timeouts have been replaced by team timeouts.
3. All four periods will have two mandatory timeouts, which will take place after the first stoppage under the seven- and three-minute marks.
4. The under-nine-minute mandatory timeouts in the second and fourth periods will be eliminated.
5. Each team can enter the fourth period with up to four team timeouts.
6. Each team will be limited to two team timeouts after the three-minute mark of the fourth period or the resumption of play after the second mandatory timeout of the fourth period.
7. Each team will have two team timeouts per overtime period; previously teams had three.
The NBA also made these changes to game flow, per the UPI:
1. Referees will assess a delay-of-game violation if a free-throw shooter ventures beyond the 3-point line between attempts.
2. Halftime will last 15 minutes for all games, beginning immediately upon expiration of the second period. A delay-of-game penalty will be issued if a team is not ready to start play at the expiration of the halftime clock.