On Tuesday the NBA announced a few experimental rule changes that will be implemented this season in the Development League. They are as follows:
- Each team will be entitled to a “Reset Timeout” in the final two minutes of a fourth quarter and final two minutes of any overtime period. “Reset Timeouts” do not allow teams to huddle, but otherwise mirror standard timeouts, allowing teams to advance the ball (when applicable) and make unlimited substitutions. If either team huddles or prevents the ball from being immediately put back into play, it will result in a delay of game being issued to the offending team. The “Reset Timeout” replaces the “Advance Rule” which has been used in the NBA D-League the past two seasons.
- The 24-second clock will reset to 14 seconds after an offensive rebound or when the offensive team otherwise is the first team to retain possession after the ball contacts the rim.
- A 75-second limit on the duration of instant replay reviews has been implemented, except in circumstances where the review is for a hostile act or altercation, could lead to an ejection, there is a technical equipment problem or other atypical circumstances.
All three of the changes have been made with the clear goal of speeding up the game. Teams will often use timeouts with the sole purpose of advancing the ball, which makes the time spent huddling superfluous. There have been countless complaints that replays take too long, and the clock figures to put a hard cap on that. The shot clock rule will quicken the pace of play, and may also have implications in late-game situations in which teams would normally intentionally foul with time running out.
Tweaks to the game are nothing new for the D-League, as the NBA has been using the league for years as a sort of research tool in an effort to improve the product. In the past, the D-League has tested the “international goaltending” rule, as well as a coach’s challenge that allows coaches to order a review on personal fouls in addition to any other play that falls under the replay guideline.
The D-League season gets underway in mid-November.