NBA shortens quarters for first exhibition games at Disney restart

Cassandra Negley

NBA exhibitions will look different in the restart at Disney World. The league is cutting the usual 12-minute quarters to 10 minutes for the first set of exhibition games for each team, the Associated Press reported.

NBA shortens exhibition games

Every team in the bubble scenario will play three exhibitions beginning this week. The first exhibition game will have the shortened quarters, and the last two games will be played with regular rules.

The change, per the AP, is for “several reasons” related to the COVID-19 pandemic and finalizing rosters around positive cases or opt outs.

“... among them, not wanting to overly tax players’ bodies after they went more than four months without games, and because some teams do not have their full rosters at Walt Disney World yet because of coronavirus and other issues.”

Players have yet to arrive in the bubble due to positive COVID-19 tests, leaving holes in team’s rosters. Others have left the bubble, such as New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson, to attend to emergency family matters.

NBPA’s Chris Paul unaware of changes

The NBA exhibitions will feature shorter quarters this week. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)
The NBA exhibitions will feature shorter quarters this week. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

Oklahoma City guard and NBA Players Association president Chris Paul was unaware of the shortened quarters for the first set of games, which will begin Wednesday.

“I don’t know about that yet,” Paul said, via the AP. “So, I’ll find out.”

The league is also considering other changes. It is reportedly unsure if it will require teams to wear their regular uniforms or allow them to wear practice gear. New jerseys featuring social justice messaging chosen by individual players will not be unveiled until the official regular-season restart on July 30.

The NBA is also considering using three referees in a rotating system.

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Some coaches are taking different approaches with the health of their athletes in mind. Erik Spoelstra told the AP he’s speaking with the coaches of teams his Miami Heat will face in the exhibition to see if there’s anything specific the groups want to work on.

When does the NBA return to TV?

The exhibition games will begin Wednesday with a four-game slate. All 33 exhibition games will be televised on a combination of local TV, national TV, NBA TV or NBA League Pass.

The regular season, which consists of eight games for each team in the ramp-up to a postseason, will begin on July 30.

Opening night will be broadcasted on TNT beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET with the Utah Jazz against the Pelicans. The Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers will follow at 9 p.m. ET.

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