Time Was Not an Issue for the Celtics’ Win Against the Nets
By AnaLee Rodriguez
The Celtics win over the Nets on Wednesday (95-90) ended four minutes early, but this wasn’t a mistake. The whistle blew after 11 minutes in each quarter instead of the regular 12. The experimental preseason game was only 44 minutes instead of the regular 48.
“One of the things that keeps coming up is our schedule and the length of our games. … Our coaches talked about it, and a lot of them seemed to be in favor of at least taking a look at it” NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn said.
The league wanted to try something new to keep the game interesting for the fans.
If the Nets and Celtics had four more minutes of playing time on Wednesday, rookie Marcus Smart who had 13 points could have drained another three or Joe Johnson could have made 2 shots from behind the arc. It is not uncalled for five more points to be made in four minutes of playing time. The entire outcome of the game could have been different if those four minutes were still intact, or nothing could have changed at all.
How did Coach Brad Stevens feel about this experiment? It has been mentioned that he thinks the 4 minutes a game that the players wouldn’t be on the court would accumulate. Coach Stevens raised awareness in regards to the amount of games players would feel like they were competing in, which comes out to be approximately around 7 games that would be cut from their long 82 game season. Stevens noticed that the game’s flow had an improvement with the termination of a single mandatory timeout in the second and fourth quarters.
"You noticed it a little bit when you are subbing at the start of quarters, but I thought the flow with one less minute was actually a little bit better in the second and fourth," Coach Stevens said.
Steven’s reaction is only one of the many views on this trial game. LeBron James feels that no matter how long the game is, players will get on the court and play, but if you cut the games out of the season that would have a larger impact on players and possibly the length of their careers.
“It’s not the minutes, it’s the games. The minutes don’t mean anything. We can play 50 minute games if we had to. It’s the games that I think we all as players think is too many games in our season. 82 games is a lot. But it’s not about 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 doesn’t matter if you’re playing 22 minutes, like I’m playing tonight, or you play 40 minutes. Once you play, it takes a toll on your body. So it’s not less minutes, it’s games.”
Now, Michael Jordan has another take on the 82 game season that James thinks should be cut short. “If I wasn’t playing 82 games. I would’ve been playing somewhere else because that’s the love for the game I had. As a player I never thought 82 games was an issue.”
One other view from Fran Blinebury of NBA.com believes that if the NBA wants to go in the shorter games route, why not cut the quarters to 10 minutes each like in FIBA. That would make the game of basketball and the rules widespread across the world and less of a learning curve when playing in international play.
We will all just have to wait and see what Adam Silver and Rod Thorne believe the league should do. I give Silver credit for experimenting with the NBA and showing that he is looking to make the league better and more exciting for fans. Whatever the outcome, the C’s performance showed that the four minute difference did not impact them negatively and they came out with the win. The Celtics play Brooklyn again in Boston with 48 minutes on the clock on Wednesday October 22 at 7:30 p.m.