How Many Timeouts Are There in the NBA?

How Many Timeouts Are There in the NBA?

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Timeouts are essential to every basketball team, but sometimes it can be annoying, especially if your team is about to start a fast break or if you are on an offensive streak. Aside from these irritating things that timeouts can have, timeouts have many benefits for your team. Timeouts give basketball players to rest, talk about the game plan, stop a turnover, or stop the offensive streak of the opposing team.

The NBA has changed the timeout regulations for a better basketball game. They changed the duration of timeouts and number of timeouts that can be used in one basketball game. However, changes can give fans some confusion, but they did this to make basketball games more exciting. 

Today, we are going to talk about the rules of timeouts in the NBA. We are going to give you such useful information to ease your confusion. 

What Is Timeout?

In basketball, a timeout is called by teams for different reasons. A timeout can either be called by a player or the head coach of the basketball team. Calling a timeout will stop the clock. Timeouts also have a limited duration, and there are limited numbers of timeouts that can be called in one basketball game. 

Basketball teams usually call a timeout for strategic purposes, to avoid turnovers. They also use timeouts, especially if they need to change the game plan or if players need some quick rest.

How Many Timeouts Are There In One NBA Game And How Long It Is?

In one NBA game, each team will receive a total of seven charged timeouts. Each timeout has a limited duration only. It lasts 1 minute and 15 seconds. If the game is close until the fourth quarter and reaches overtime, both teams are given two more extra timeouts. 

Another exception in the fourth quarter is that an NBA team is limited to call four timeouts only and two timeouts after the three-minute mark.

What Are Mandatory Timeouts In The NBA?

Mandatory Timeouts is another timeout rule in the NBA, and the rules go like this: If both NBA teams did not call a timeout before the 6:59 mark in any quarter, the official scorer declares it at the first dead ball and charges it to the home team. After the game resumes, if the other team does not call a timeout before the 2:59 mark in any quarter, the official scorer charges it with a timeout. The official scorer must inform the coaches before charging a mandatory timeout. 

When Is A Timeout Can Be Called?

There are only two circumstances where timeouts can be called. They are:

  • During dead ball
  • If the player calling for timeout is holding the basketball

Timeouts During The Last Two Minutes of The Fourth Quarter

In the last two minutes of the fourth quarter, there are also some instances when a timeout request might be granted for the offensive team:

  • After getting an offensive rebound before making an offensive break
  • When the defensive team stole the ball from the offensive team, and they are now the offensive team
  • During inbounding, the offensive team can call a timeout
  • When basketball is out-of-bounds

Any timeout requests from the defensive team are prohibited during the last two minutes of the fourth quarter. Any foul or any unsportsmanlike foul committed inside the basketball court does not grant any requests of timeout of both NBA teams. On the other hand, if one NBA team called a timeout and they didn’t have any timeouts left, accidentally or intentionally, the team is charged with a technical foul.

NBA Teams Call Timeouts With None Left Scenarios

This scenario happened rarely in the NBA. However, there is one time where coach David Blatt almost got a technical foul for asking a timeout with none left. Luckily, coach David Blatt was pulled out by assistant coach Tyrone Lue off the court. Coach David Blatt and the Cleveland Cavaliers almost lost against the Chicago Bulls because of this scenario.

The most famous timeout technical foul that happened was not in the NBA. It happened in NCAA men’s college basketball. Chris Webber, the ace player of the University of Michigan, asked timeout when they had none left. 

The scenario happened like this: Michigan was down by two points, and they held possession of the ball. When Webber had the ball in hand, he was double-teamed and got trapped, and tried to call for a timeout. Sadly, his team has no timeouts left, and the basketball referees called a technical foul on Michigan. Because of this technical foul, their opposing team, UNC Tarheels, was given two technical free-throws and won the championship.

Chris Webber said that this was the most embarrassing moment for him during his basketball career. He was a retired NBA player and continues to work for TNT. 

Final Words

Timeouts are indeed essential in any basketball game or league. It can give many benefits for a basketball team that can affect the outcome of the basketball game. However, timeouts might be the reason for losing the ball that is why it is required to keep focusing during basketball games. But in the majority, timeouts are helpful for a basketball team. 

Do you think the NBA must extend the duration of each timeout? If yes, then why? Comment your opinions in the comments section below!

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