Exhibitions To Start With 40-Minute Games

Games will be shorter as NBA teams open the exhibition schedule in a few days, writes Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. Each team’s first game will have 10-minute quarters, giving players a chance to ease back into competition after a four-month break and to avoid putting a strain on teams that don’t have full rosters in Orlando yet.

Exhibitions will start with four games Wednesday and will continue through July 28. Each team plays three games, and the last two will be conducted with normal 12-minute quarters.

“This is a different situation,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “In all areas, really. … I do think that there’s some latitude to do some different things.”

Other changes are being considered for the exhibition openers, Reynolds adds. Teams may be given the option of wearing practice gear instead of their uniforms, and the games might feature more than three referees, with the officials operating on a rotating system. Scores and stats will be kept normally.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told Reynolds he has talked with the coaches of the teams he will face in the exhibitions to see if there are any in-game situations they want to focus on.

“You have to fast-track so much before you get to that eight-game regular season,” Spoelstra said. … “We’ll approach it that way and play probably everybody available, but definitely work on some things and do a little bit of evaluating as well.”

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