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Celtics, Nets battle in 44-minute preseason match

Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics will take on Deron Williams and the Brooklyn
Nets in a 44-minute exhibition. NBA (file photo)
By Dugout Philippines

In an interesting plot twist that could set the tone on how the NBA games will be played in the future, the league announced that the preseason game between the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets on October 20 (Philippine Time) will only be a 44-minute showdown barring an overtime period.

The NBA said in its official statement that the purpose of reducing the playing time of the Celtics-Nets game at the Barclays Center to 44 minutes, which translates to four 11-minute quarters, is to compare the flow of a shorter game to the usual 48-minute affair.

"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 Rod Thorn, the NBA president for basketball operations.

He added, "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."

Thorn also announced the other parameters of this "experiment".

He said, "During this 44-minute game, each quarter will feature two mandatory timeouts per quarter, with the first triggered at the first dead ball under 6:59 of the period if neither team has taken a timeout prior, and the second mandatory timeout will be triggered by the first dead ball under 2:59 if neither team has taken a timeout subsequent to the first mandatory timeout."

Both Lionel Hollins and Brad Stevens, the respective head coaches of Brooklyn and Boston, expressed optimism about this historic game.

"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," Hollins said.

On the other hand, Stevens said, "I appreciate the NBA's long history of forward thinking and willingness to try new ideas."
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