NBA games this season will have a different pace after the league voted to reduce the number of timeouts, a change that has mixed reviews among the Trail Blazers.
Blazers’ coach Terry Stotts, who is noted for his creative and effective plays out of timeouts, was lukewarm to the changes.
“I prefer to have (the old rules) but I understand reducing timeouts for the good of the game,’’ Stotts said.
Point guard Damian Lillard, meanwhile, was all for less stoppage in play.
“I’ve always been a guy who likes to keep playing,’’ Lillard said. “I hate it when the game stops.’’
Previously, teams had a maximum of 18 timeouts to use in a game. That has been reduced to 14.
The biggest change is at the end of the game. Previously, teams had three timeouts to use over the final two minutes. Now, teams have two timeouts over the final three minutes.
“The way it impacts the game the most is at the end,’’ Stotts said. “That’s going to change strategies for everybody.’’
The NBA said it has already shortened the average game time from 2 hours and 23 minutes to 2 hours and 15 minutes, but is trying to further streamline games. It felt the end of the games were becoming too choppy because of timeouts.
Lillard, for one, wouldn’t argue. He said he would go as far as to vote for eliminating halftime.
“I hate halftime,’’ Lillard said. “I think I’ve said that before. I hate halftime. I wish we could sit down for a few minutes then go finish the game. Give us five minutes, let us stay on the bench, don’t even go to the back and let us finish the game.’’
The games will also lose what used to be a mandated third timeout in the second and fourth quarters. Also, all timeouts will be 75 seconds. Previously, regular timeouts were 100 seconds and “20-second” timeouts were 60 seconds.
“When we had three mandatories (timeouts) you knew you had the breaks, and that will be the challenging part for the players,’’ Stotts said. “But from coaching standpoint, it’s the last three minutes will be effected. But we will adjust and adapt.’’
Also, this week the NBA passed rules regarding tanking and resting players. For Stotts reaction, listen here.
Today's Blazers Links:
The debut of the "Inside the Blazers' podcast" which features an interview with Shabazz Napier.
CSNNW's Peter Socotch has video of Zach Collins talking about adding size to his frame.
CSNNW's Dwight Jaynes says the NBA is complicit in the recent college basketball scandal.
Sports Illustrated's Rob Mahoney writes that Jusuf Nurkic is the key to Blazers' success.
The Oregonian's Mike Richman has a nice piece on Zach Collins.