Suggestions to the NBA from an NHL Fan

The San Jose Sharks were eliminated from the playoffs on Monday. It was a fun
season this year, but they kind of fell apart at the end. So, as a member of the
bay area community, I find myself watching the Golden State Warriors as they
advance through the playoffs. But there are too many stoppages of play in the
NBA. You get about 5 seconds of action, and then everyone stops for 10 minutes.
It seems to me that the NBA could borrow some ideas from the NHL and create a
better basketball experience. So, without further ado, my suggestions:

  • Rolling line changes. In the NBA, to substitute someone, you have to wait
    for a stoppage in play. Then a horn blows. What’s with that horn, anyways???
    Did the inventor of basketball have some sort of freight train fetish?
    Anyways, the horn toots, and the new player is allowed in. Forget that; let
    players come in and out of the game at will. It works for hockey, it’ll work
    here, and it’ll speed up the game.
  • Reduce the number of timeouts. I’m not positive, but I believe each team
    gets about 50 full time outs and 35 short time outs. Per period! Boring! Cut
    that to 1 time out per game, like hockey. 
  • Power plays. Again, I’m not sure, but I believe each team gets 20 fouls per
    period and then the other team starts shooting free-throws. That’s rather
    arbitrary, isn’t it? And again, it slows down the game. Forget that. Have
    delayed penalties. You get 5 fouls without a stoppage. After the 5th foul,
    the other team goes on a power play, for 2 minutes. Get rid of the
    free-throw, it doesn’t belong in the game.
  • Longer periods and more players. With the above improvements, there will be
    fewer stoppages, and periods will go faster. Switch to three 20 minute
    periods and increase the roster size to deal with the increased playing

Make these changes and I’ll be the first in line for season tickets!


  1. Baseball might learn from basketball, as well. Two words: Shot Clock.
    Rolling line changes and power plays in baseball might almost make it watchable.
    Now if we could somehow get cricket to learn from rugby…

  2. I agree totally. It gets really tiring after the TMobile commercial (with Barkley and Wade) comes on for the 200th time.
    It might seem like 50 timeouts were given, but each team only has 2 20-second and 6 regular timeouts. And the foul limit is 4 fouls per quarter. Add to that the time allowed for players to walk on the court and situate themselves, the pre-free-throw motions, you have plenty of time to go to commercial. I’d love it if it’s like soccer, where there is no time-out, and commercials are limited to what you see on jerseys and sideline banners.

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