<
>

Johnson: Game 'pretty much same'

NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics participated in an experimental, 44-minute preseason game on Sunday afternoon at Barclays Center.

The Celtics beat the Nets 95-90 in the game, which lasted 1 hour, 58 minutes -- approximately 15-30 minutes shorter than a standard, 48-minute game.

The teams played four 11-minute quarters as opposed to the usual 12 minutes, with two timeouts being eliminated from the game (the third mandatory timeout in the second and fourth quarters).

"You noticed it a little bit when you are subbing at the start of quarters, but I thought the flow with one less minute was actually a little bit better in the second and fourth," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "I didn't notice it other than that. When I am subbing and I'm looking at the clock and it's seven or six [minutes] on the clock, and I have to get myself back on that only five minutes has gone on if it says six on the clock. That is a little bit different, but I had it mapped out, so I kind of knew what I was going to do. I didn't notice it a whole lot, and I don't know how much impact it had on the game."

Nets coach Lionel Hollins said the game being four minutes shorter than usual didn't really have much of an impact.

"I looked up there and we were already to the first timeout [with 6:41 left in the first quarter]," Hollins said. "That was kinda surprising. That was the only time it seemed like it was quicker, but other than that, I didn't really notice."

Nets players agreed.

"I didn't notice a difference at all," shooting guard Joe Johnson said. "I think it's pretty much the same. If you're playing the same amount of minutes, it doesn't really matter."

Johnson said he'd like to keep the standard, 48-minute, 82-game regular season the same way going forward.

"It's really hard to tell a minute [less] a quarter, four minutes total a game when you're on there in real time and you're not really thinking about it," point guard Deron Williams said. "So you really can't tell anything."

""I looked up there and we were already to the first timeout [with 6:41 left in the first quarter]. That was kinda surprising. That was the only time it seemed like it was quicker, but other than that, I didn't really notice.""

Nets coach Lionel Hollins on effect of experimental 11-minute quarter

Williams had called the Nets and Celtics "guinea pigs" for participating in the shorter game.

The idea was broached by Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle during offseason coaches' meetings, and Hollins and Stevens agreed to do it with their teams facing one another in the preseason on Sunday in Brooklyn and Wednesday in Boston.

A league spokesman said there have been no discussions about teams playing any additional 44-minute games before the preseason ends.

Shortening NBA games and eliminating some timeouts would perhaps allow games to flow better, make them better suited for television windows and prevent players from playing so many minutes. Over an 82-game season, cutting four minutes per game would conceivably shorten the season by about seven games.

But Hollins said shortening games wouldn't likely affect his starters, who would probably play the same amount of minutes. In fact, it would actually shorten the amount of time the reserves get on the court.

Some players have said they'd prefer less games, or at least less back-to-backs.

But cutting games might mean less money in both the pockets of owners and players, which might make that an unlikely scenario.

Hollins had said that 44-minute games weren't close to happening, and it would likely need to be implemented in the NBA Developmental League before becoming a rule in the NBA itself.

The length of halftime was only 14 minutes on Sunday afternoon. Normally, it is 15 minutes.