By: Grant Pomatto
We’ve all been watching an NBA game when we think that the game is moving at a quick pace. Then all of a sudden it just comes to the stop. Usually in the fourth quarter. By what though? Why does it seem that time just stops? It’s because of all those timeouts that the teams save up.
Each team is given six timeouts per game four of which have to be used in the game and two 20 second times which can be used (one during each half, but they cannot be carried over to the next half and cannot be saved).
We all know what goes on during these timeouts, if we’ve watched enough basketball. Players and coaches discuss strategy and use the break in play to rest the teams’ superstars so they are refreshed and don’t have to come out of the game. Often, timeouts are used to stop the clock or stop the momentum of the other team. But still, why so many?
Six timeouts seem like a lot for an NBA game. In college basketball you only get four timeouts due to the rule changes in 2015-16 season because the NCAA thought that the game needed to be sped up and thought that timeouts were only able to be used when absolutely need be.
I think that the NBA should take a look at giving teams five timeouts per game because it makes the game more interesting due to the fact that the teams have one less timeout to use and instead of using it to rest players when they get tired, they use them for strategy use only instead of using all of their three timeouts in the fourth quarter.
Resting players is a key to the game but that is what substitutions are mainly for, not timeouts. You see it in college basketball that a coach will take their main important players out right before a TV timeout so that way they don’t have to use one just because a player is tired. The same goes for NBA. There are media timeouts in the NBA as well and I think coaches could use those for substitution advantages. I think if there were less timeouts, the game would be more interesting because it forces both teams to use strategy more than ever which could be good for the game.
It’s highly doubtful that the NBA will take away a timeout any time soon. However, if they were to take away just one timeout, imagine how much more entertaining the NBA would be. College basketball right now is the more entertaining of the two just because of how quickly the game moves and how coaches have to think on their feet with just only four timeouts. If there were to be only five timeouts in the NBA, think of how much more entertaining basketball as a whole would be. Some would even say that it would be hard to choose which level of basketball they prefer because of the fact that both levels wouldn’t be slowed down due to unnecessary uses of a teams’ timeouts. But for now basketball stays the same and for now I think I’ll take my own timeout and pick this up at a later date.