On Wednesday, the NBA Board of Governors met and made a couple of significant changes towards the NBA season. One is an absolute no brainer and the other while convenient, still leaves you with a question of why?
First, the NBA is moving the trade deadline up to Thursday, Feb. 8. This past season the deadline was on Feb. 23 and in the 2015-16 season, the deadline was on Feb. 18. The time of the deadline, 2 p.m. CST, hasn’t changed. The move is a full 10 days before the NBA’s All-Star game which is slated to be played on Feb. 18 in Los Angeles at the Staples Center.
This seems convenient, getting the trade deadline out of the way and having the ability to become acclimated with said players over the break and become a real team in the second part of the season. This is favored over the previous, let’s make it work scenario. However, there are real questions to this move. What if an a selected All-Star is moved? Let’s say Carmelo Anthony is selected by the fans to be an All-Star and he’s traded to the Houston Rockets? How will this be handled? Silver did say this would be a case-by-case scenario with no across-the-board ruling.
Secondly, Commissioner Adam Silver has said the NBA’s season will begin significantly sooner than in the past. Last season, the regular season began on Oct. 25. The previous season began on Oct. 27. This will be the earliest start in the NBA since 1980 when games began on Oct. 10. In the 1973-74 season, the regular season began on Oct. 9, the earliest in NBA history.
The reasoning behind the early start is simple and a little bit of a long time coming. While the NBA is still playing 82 games, don’t expect that to change any time soon, this allows players for more rest. There will be less back-to-backs and less four-games-in-five nights. Modern day travel and TV accommodations have really the little need for most of these. Players train year round and in reality only take a couple of weeks off.
The Board also voted to lower total game timeouts from 18 to 14. Each team with seven per game, no restriction on which half they use them in. All timeouts are now 75 seconds. There are no “full” 90-second timeouts. Gone are the 20-second timeouts. Each quarter will have two mandatory timeouts. If the teams don’t call timeouts, then they come at the under-seven and under-three minute marks. NBA teams can use up to four timeouts in the fourth quarter.
Game flow changes were also added. Officials now will assess a delay-of-game on a shooter who’s who fades back behind the three point-line before the ball strikes the rim. Halftime will be 15 minutes and a delay-of-game penalty to teams who are not ready when the halftime clock expires. These rules will probably be addressed the same as the opposing player touching the ball while in disposal, they’ll call a bunch of delay of games first few weeks and then forget about it.
These are a few of the NBA changes this year. I’m sure we’ll hear some more.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!