Dallas Mavericks

Carlisle believes idea of shorter games has a lot of merit


DALLAS – Rick Carlisle doesn’t have an issue with the NBA’s experimentation with a 44-minute game.

"It’s an idea that has a lot of merits,’’ the Dallas Mavericks coach said after Wednesday’s practice. "There are some very desirable aspects to it and there are other things you have to consider, too.

"But there’s enough interest in it that a couple teams are going to play the format, and so it’s interesting.’’

The NBA will test the 44-minute concept Sunday when the Brooklyn Nets face the Boston Celtics in a preseason game. The game will be four minutes shorter than a regular game and will feature four 11-minute quarters instead of four 12-minute quarters.

Although the 44-minute game is only an experiment as of now, forward Dirk Nowitzki hopes it doesn’t become a reality.

"I don’t like it, but if that’s something they want to look at, I guess we’ll wait and see,’’ Nowitzki said. "But, I mean, I like the game the way it is with four times 12 minutes, with the 24-second shot clock.

"I think everything is timed pretty good. You know, I’m old school. I would never mess with a product that’s good.’’

Carlisle, who is the president of the coach’s association, said he couldn’t get into any long discussion about the 44-minute game.

"But I think more than anything it comes down to the right length of the game,’’ Carlisle said. "The structure of timeouts, (the players are) still going to be playing less minutes. There’s no question about that.’’

Instead of experimenting with lowering the game’s minutes, Nowitzki believes the NBA has another situation on its hands that it needs to address.

"What I would experiment with a little is there are just too many timeouts, especially down the stretch,’’ Nowitzki said. "It’s such a fun, fast game, then there’s one action and they score, OK, there’s a timeout and you sit for two minutes.

"There’s another action, they score, tie it up. There’s no other sport where it’s interrupted so much at the end. That’s something that I would look at. Both teams are like, ‘They have another timeout? Are you kidding me?’ That’s a little much, but other than that, I think the game’s great.’’

In a related matter, Nowitzki said instead of 82 regular games, the NBA should be playing around 64-66 games.

"I think you don’t need 82 games to determine the best eight in each conference,’’ Nowitzki said. "That could be done a lot quicker, but I always understand that it’s about money, and every missed game means missed money for both parties, for the league, for the owners, for the players.

"I understand all that and that’s why I don’t think it’s going to change any time soon.’’