The NBA will test a 44-minute game during an Oct. 19 preseason matchup between the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets, the league announced in a press release.
Standard NBA games are 48 minutes, but the league said it wants to compare the "flow" of a 44-minute game to a 48-minute contest. Quarters, typically 12 minutes each, will be 11 minutes.
From the NBA's press release:
“At our recent coaches’ meeting, we had a discussion about the length of our games, and it was suggested that we consider experimenting with a shorter format,” said NBA President, Basketball Operations Rod Thorn. “After consulting with our Competition Committee, we agreed to allow the Nets and Celtics to play a 44-minute preseason game in order to give us some preliminary data that will help us to further analyze game-time lengths.”
NBA games have been 48 minutes since the inception of the league in 1946.
Under the 44-minute format, each quarter will have two mandatory timeouts, while in a standard-length game the second and fourth quarters have three mandatory timeouts. A mandatory timeout occurs if neither team has taken a timeout within a certain period of the game.
The two teams will meet at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said that he appreciates the league's "long history of forward thinking and willingness to try new ideas," according to the league's release.
Nets head coach Lionel Hollins also lauded the experiment.
"When this idea came up at the coaches’ meeting, I thought it was a unique experiment that was worth participating in," said Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins. "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.”
The Nets and Celtics will also meet Oct. 29 in Boston to open each team's 2014-15 regular season.
- Stanley Kay