Zach Lowe: the case for 40 minute games
Old 09-10-2013, 06:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Zach Lowe: the case for 40 minute games

The case for the 40-minute NBA game - Grantland

I'll just lay out the opening here. Use the link to get the full lengthy piece.

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Games in the NBA have always been 48 minutes long. Other rules have come and gone — zone defenses, the 3-point shot, a ban on zone defenses, the shot clock, zone defenses again, the 82-game schedule — but game length has been sacred.

Those 48 minutes stretch longer than ever now, as the league and its television partners1 cooperate in accepting heaps of cash from advertisers willing to pay more and more for a slot during one of approximately 967 timeouts that interrupt any given nationally televised game. The games are too long. An NBA playoff game should not nudge up against Major League Baseball–level game times.

"Listen," says Jeff Van Gundy, the former head coach and current TV analyst. "There just shouldn't be three-hour NBA games." A three-hour NBA game goes against everything basketball is supposed to be — a fast-paced ballet of whirring athleticism, back-and-forth action, and fantastic players looping around the floor in coordinated geometric patterns.

Almost everyone associated with the league knows game lengths have gotten out of hand. Not everyone actually cares; multiple ownership sources suggested the only people concerned enough about game length to propose semi-radical solutions are those tasked with working the games in some capacity. But the league has telegraphed its concern. The NBA cracked down on pregame dance-and-handshake rituals last season, and two seasons ago it had in-game operators sound warning horns in order to hustle teams out of timeouts. The D-League over the last three seasons has discussed a bundle of proposals (and even implemented some) in hopes of containing games within a tidy two-hour window. A lot of these ideas centered on the unending stop-and-start of NBA/D-League crunch time, including a limit on substitutions and a FIBA-style rule that would ban live-ball timeouts. Every expansion of instant replay comes with the requisite platitudes about balancing accuracy with game flow.

Some proposals to streamline games are unrealistic, and others would take such tiny bites out of the problem as to be almost irrelevant unless enacted simultaneously with a dozen other jabs at the issue. Perhaps the most elegant solution is the simplest: shorten the games from 48 minutes to 40 minutes. Several sources around the league, both at the highest team levels and within the league office, say commissioner-in-waiting Adam Silver has signaled a desire to at least discuss moving to 40-minute games. About two years ago, Silver informally polled all 30 league general managers on the notion of cutting overtime from five to three minutes, per several GMs who remember the poll.
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Games start at 715ish. Almost always done by 930. Not sure there really is a problem here.
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think it is terrible idea. Change anything but game length. Reduce amount of commercial timeouts or other crap which influences total game length, but pure playing time should not be changed.
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Shortening the games is an incredible idea. Shorten the benches, make it two halves, heck even make them change on the fly like in hockey! The games are too long and there are way too many intentional non-intentional fouls and lazy offensive and defensive sets.
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calgary Jazz View Post
I think it is terrible idea. Change anything but game length. Reduce amount of commercial timeouts or other crap which influences total game length, but pure playing time should not be changed.
as much as i would love that, that's pretty unrealistic because commercials bring in that cash money.
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raptorman View Post
Games start at 715ish. Almost always done by 930. Not sure there really is a problem here.
There isn't currently a problem at all imo. Not sure how the added replay calling will effect things but I suspect it'll add an extra 5-10min to each game on average. Even that isn't bad though.
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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games are slow as molasses right now - nearly unwatchable most nights. but unless people start tuning out en masse there is no way in hell they will do anything to improve it, because they would never sacrifice the revenue.
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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games are slow as molasses right now - nearly unwatchable most nights. but unless people start tuning out en masse there is no way in hell they will do anything to improve it, because they would never sacrifice the revenue.
I don't find games slow or unwatchable at all. If I can be a baseball fan my whole life I can handle the NBA without a problem.
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't have a problem with how long games are but I hate games where the last two minutes take 30 minutes to play. If the NBA adopted the FIBA timeout rules that would probably help.

There are a crazy number rules that are different between FIBA/NBA/WNBA/NCAA.

Anthony's FIBA vs. USA Basketball Rule Page
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I would like to see games closer to 90 minutes. I find baseball unwatchable now, and football is getting close. Basketball has always had an appeal to me for it's fluidity. 40 minute games would be a good way to keep a lot more games competitive as well, which would be a big plus.
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Pretty lol concept. Now write the article about baseball and its useful.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Pretty lol concept. Now write the article about baseball and its useful.
Agreed. Baseball games are way too long.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:53 PM   #13 (permalink)
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We are all forgetting one very important aspect of a 40 minute game.

NO WAY THEY GET TO 100 PTS AND WE GET PIZZA!!!!
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:10 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I don't mind the length at all, but football on other hand.. commercial after every 2-3 downs pisses me off!
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:20 PM   #15 (permalink)
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no keep it at 48 minutes. 2 hour and 30 min a game is a bit of a stretch tho ill admit. It used to be amusing but not anymore. I really dislike the halftime show but I know its here to stay.
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:48 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffb View Post
I don't find games slow or unwatchable at all. If I can be a baseball fan my whole life I can handle the NBA without a problem.
totally irrelevant.

if you can't admit that watching NBA games would be significantly more entertaining to watch if they lost half the commercial breaks, you aren't being honest.
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:55 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XiaominWu View Post
totally irrelevant.

if you can't admit that watching NBA games would be significantly more entertaining to watch if they lost half the commercial breaks, you aren't being honest.
I could say that about every sport. Every sport has a ton of commercial breaks. Football is the worst sport for that by far. But aside from commercials which is unavoidable I have no problem with the length of NBA games whatsoever. It takes 2:15 to 2:30 to play a game commercials and all. That's not a large amount of time. When a 7:05 game is at half time by around 8:00, that's pretty good.

Last edited by jeffb; 09-10-2013 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:24 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Problem is not the length of the game, but length of the damn commercials.
If timeouts and quarter breaks really lasted exactly 1 minute, it would be much faster.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:09 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shifty.py View Post
Problem is not the length of the game, but length of the damn commercials.
If timeouts and quarter breaks really lasted exactly 1 minute, it would be much faster.
Again, that's life these days regarding sports or tv in general unless you're watching hbo shows or shows on channels that are commercial free. It sucks but it is what it is.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:54 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I never thought basketball games were long. I watch a lot of baseball though, maybe that's why.
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