Frank Vogel against shortening of NBA games

The NBA is conducting an experiment during one preseason game this upcoming weekend. When the Boston Celtics battle the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center on Sunday, the game will have a different feel to it.

Stemming from conversations at the league’s annual coaches meetings in Chicago last month, it’ll be a 44-minute game rather than the usual 48 minutes played. Quarters shrink by one minute to 11 minutes each.

NBA will test having a 44-minute game this weekend in Brooklyn.

“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,” Rod Thorn, the NBA’s President of Basketball Operations, said in a statement.

The shortened quarters will alter the regular TV timeouts as well. Timeouts in the second and fourth quarter will be reduced by one each, with the mandatory breaks to occur under 6:59 and 2:59.

Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said Tuesday that he is not a proponent of the move to shorten games.

“Personally, I don’t really like it,” Vogel told reporters.

Vogel’s impression is that there are a handful of reasons the league is looking into it, and TV, in trying to fit games in specific time slots, is a key part of that. ESPN/ABC and Turner just dropped a reported $24 billion on a new nine-year deal, which starts with the 2016-17 season, so it’s fair to say they have some input. Their goal is it fit games in time slot assigned, not spill over and impact other programming.

See Also: Pacers ink Frank Vogel to multi-year contract extension

“I don’t have enough minutes to get all my guys enough minutes to keep them happy,” he said. “You’re going to take away four (minutes) a game, that’s going to make my job harder.”

The NBA’s Developmental League has typically been the level where they’ve tried various new rules and technology before implementing on the big stage. Being preseason, this will add another level of intrigue to a game that otherwise has very little meaning other than Kevin Garnett playing (if he plays at all) his former team.

Rather than cutting minutes from each game, the shortening of the season would be ideal. Dropping the annual schedule from 82 games to around 60 would provide more meaning to each game, result in less wear and tear on the players, prevent back-to-backs, and more.

The face of the league, LeBron James, emphasized Wednesday prior to playing the Pacers as Xavier University, that it was about the number of games, not minutes played.

“The minutes doesn’t mean anything,” he said. “We can play 50-minute games if we had to. It’s just the games. We all as players think it’s too many games. In our season, 82 games is a lot. But it’s not the minutes. Taking away minutes from the game is not going to shorten the game at all.

“Once you go out and play on the floor, it don’t matter if you play 22 minutes — like I may be playing tonight — or you’re playing 40 minutes. Once you play, it takes a toll on your body. So it’s not lessening the minutes, I think it’s the games.”

However, that cuts into revenue big time and because slicing of game checks all around would be involved, it is highly unlikely. James admitted that the union and owners would have to sit down and make something working financially.

“At the end of the day, we want to protect the prize and the prize is the players,” he said. “We have to continue to promote the game, and if guys are being injured because there are so many games, we can’t promote it at a high level.”

2 Responses to Frank Vogel against shortening of NBA games
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