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Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Updated: December 15, 10:49 AM ET
New year, new rules: Rule No. 16

ESPN The Magazine

Rule No. 16: Limit basketball teams to two timeouts a game

Remember Game 5 of last spring's Cavs-Bulls first-round series? Besides (maybe) LeBron's lefty free throws and Derrick Rose's 31, there's no reason you would. Then again, that clinching game may have had more memory-jogging action if not for the four timeouts called in the final 1:10. And it's not as if either (soon-to-be-fired) coach was carefully crafting endgame possessions: The results of those four timeouts were three Bulls misses and a Cavs turnover. So can we please scrap all the shoulder-tapping and limit teams to two clock stoppages a game?

At least one guy is all for it. "Everything would be on the fly," says Pistons guard Ben Gordon. "Better teams would adjust quicker and point guards would be even more important."

Losing 75 percentage of a team's TO allotment would also prevent players from saving themselves. Can you imagine a quarterback stopping the action as he's on the verge of being sacked? Of course not, so why should a trapped ballhandler be allowed to stop play to avoid a turnover? With only two timeouts to use, coaches would be unlikely to let players waste one just to keep a midgame possession. But if they did, that's fine too. That coach could then stop the clock only once in those final moments.

NEXT: Bring replay to soccer