New York: The NBA Board of Governors has unanimously approved rules changes regarding timeouts and free throws while moving the trade deadline ahead of the NBA All-Star Game, the league announced on Wednesday.
At a meeting in Las Vegas, league owners voted to cut the maximum number of timeouts in a game from 18 to 14.
Also, in the final three minutes of a game, teams will be allowed only two timeouts each. Previously, they were allowed three per club in the final two minutes.
"These changes will help us fulfill our goal of improving game flow and pace of play," said NBA president of league operations Byron Spruell. "Fewer stoppages and less time without action, especially at the end of a game, will further enhance the viewing experience for our fans."
Reducing the number of late-game stoppages also could open the door to more late fouling by trailing teams given the greater limits on other ways to stop the clock.
The change, like other approved moves, came after the NBA's competition committee recommended the alterations.
The trade dealine was moved forward two weeks, from the Thursday after the NBA All-Star Game to the Thursday coming 10 days before the elite showdown of Eastern and Western Conference talent.
The move allows clubs to settle their rosters before the break, avoiding disruptions resulting from players joining new clubs just as workouts and games resume after the All-Star Game break.
To better improve game flow, referees will call a delay-of-game violation if a free throw shooter ventures beyond the three-point arc between attempts.
Also, halftime breaks will be 15 minutes for all games starting the moment the second quarter ends, with a delay-of-game penalty issued to any team not ready to resume at that point.
The league will now allow seven timeouts per team per game with all timeouts lasting 75 seconds. Previously, timeouts could be 90 seconds or so-called "20-second" stoppages that typically lasted a minute.
All four periods will have two mandatory timeouts, which will take place after the first stoppage under the seven- and three-minute marks. An under-nine-minute mandatory timeout in the second and fourth periods will be eliminated.
Updated Date: Jul 13, 2017 13:09 PM