The league implemented new timeout rules this season, reducing the total number of timeouts from 18 to 14 and limiting the number of timeouts a team can carry into the last three minutes from three to two. The number of available timeouts in the final three has had the biggest impact on in-game strategy. “Last year, you had two fulls and a twenty and then under two it flipped to twenties and a full,” Stotts explained. “So you didn’t lose a timeout. You still had three timeouts. That was the biggest thing so nobody would take that timeout (before the three minute mark).”
“Well it’s taken some getting used to, but down the stretch of games I’m only calling one timeout,” Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “I have to save that last one in case we need to advance the ball. There’s been a couple times I’ve wanted to burn some timeouts to either stop a run or get on our guys about something, but I just kinda let it roll. You just gotta be more cautious about when you’re calling them.” The NBA implemented the rule change in an effort to improve the flow of the game. The league not only decreased the total number of stoppages, but all team timeouts have been changed to 75 seconds replacing the 90-second “full” timeout and minute-long “20-second” timeout of past seasons.