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NBA rule changes for 2017-18

More fun.

2017 NBA Draft Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Coinciding with the advent of #TheTimeline era in Phoenix, the National Basketball Association is implementing rule changes that we can only hope will serve to aid our Suns in what is sure to be a decade of dominance in the valley.

The rule changes will involve lessening those pesky and tedious timeouts while improving game flow. As Byron Spruell, NBA President of League Operations, puts it “Fewer stoppages and less time without action, especially at the end of a game, will further enhance the viewing experience for our fans.”

More action and less inaction is always a damn good plan. Here are the changes Phoenix will have to account for during their inevitable rise to the top of the Western Conference:

  • Each team will have seven timeouts per game, with no restrictions per half.
  • All team timeouts will be 75 seconds. In the previous format, “full” timeouts were 90 seconds and “20-second” timeouts were 60 seconds. Both “full” and “20-second” timeouts have been replaced by team timeouts.
  • All four periods will have two mandatory timeouts, which will take place after the first stoppage under the seven-and three-minute marks.
  • The under-nine-minute mandatory timeouts in the second and fourth periods will be eliminated.
  • Each team can enter the fourth period with up to four team timeouts.
  • Each team will be limited to two team timeouts after the later of (i) the three-minute mark of the fourth period or (ii) the resumption of play after the second mandatory timeout of the fourth period.
  • Each team will have two team timeouts per overtime period; previously teams had three.


  • Referees will assess a delay-of-game violation if a free throw shooter ventures beyond the three-point line between attempts.
  • Halftime will last 15 minutes for all games, beginning immediately upon expiration of the second period. A delay-of-game penalty will be issued if a team is not ready to start play at the expiration of the halftime clock.

Pacific Division rivals floundering in the Phoenix wake will have a new trade deadline to to contend with. That has been moved to the Thursday 10 days before the All-Star Game.

From the NBA’s perspective the benefit is that teams and players will avoid the disruptions that result from returning from the NBA All-Star break with new personnel. The negative for fans of course is that they are not treated to returning from the NBA All-Star break with new personnel.

Stop reading. The Summer Suns tip off against the July Jazz in 55 minutes. Hustle and you can squeeze in an episode of Deadwood. Then join our open chat.

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