The first few exhibition games of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) resumption of the 2020 season at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida will be shorter than the usual games.
The games will comprise of four 10 minute quarters, instead of the typical four 12 minute quarters. The NBA stated that shorter quarters are needed to help bring players up to a professional standard of play after four months on inaction.
The NBA also noted that the shorter quarters will help reduce fatigue for the players, as many teams will be playing these games with incomplete rosters.
The shorter quarters will apply only to the first exhibition game for each team. The remaining two exhibition games for each will use 12 minute quarters. All teams are scheduled to play three exhibitions.
The change was welcomed by a number of coaches such as Dallas’ Rick Carlisle and Orlando’s Steve Clifford. Carlisle noted that the pandemic brings about a unique situation that the NBA must adjust to continuously while Clifford stated that the shorter quarters will be a boon to players’ safety, as a way to ramp up their physical readiness before going all out in the upcoming season.
Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone said that the number one priority for teams should be player safety. According to Malone, the shorter exhibition games may help teams figure out the strategy for the season while logging practice time safely for their players.
Exhibitions are set to begin from July 23. The three-game slate for each team will conclude by July 28. The NBA plans for all 33 exhibition games to be broadcast on TV, NBA TV, and NBA League Pass.
Exhibition Stats will be Logged
However, there are still a number of other aspects of the exhibition games that have yet to be decided. For instance, the NBA has not yet issued guidelines on whether teams can play in practice gear. Most teams have expressed that they will be playing in their typical uniforms for all exhibition games. The new uniforms containing social justice messaging will debut during the seeding games that start on June 30.
Scores and stats from the exhibition games will be logged, which the NBA hopes will be a way for their statistics department to ensure that statistics for the regular games will be logged smoothly. The NBA is also considering utilizing more than three referees per game in a rotation system.