Updated: October 14, 2014, 10:28 PM ET


ESPN.com news services


NEW YORK — The NBA is going to evaluate if a shorter game could be a better one.

The Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics will play a 44-minute preseason game Sunday as the league tests a format that features fewer minutes and fewer mandatory timeouts.

The contest will be four minutes shorter than the NBA’s standard 48-minute game. The league said Tuesday that the preseason game will feature four 11-minute quarters, one minute shorter than normal.

Acting on a suggestion by coaches to tighten up the games, the league will use the matchup at Barclays Center to examine if the shorter model flows better.

No long-term changes are currently being considered, but shorter games could be a way to keep players healthier, since there are no plans to shorten the season.

“At our recent coaches’ meeting, we had a discussion about the length of our games, and it was suggested that we consider experimenting with a shorter format,” Rod Thorn, the NBA’s president of basketball operations, said in a statement. “After consulting with our Competition Committee, we agreed to allow the Nets and Celtics to play a 44-minute preseason game in order to give us some preliminary data that will help us to further analyze game-time lengths.”

“I think it’s great that the league is open-minded and looking at everything and not just following the same path because it’s been done that way for however many years,” Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “I think it’s a real testament to Adam Silver and the league that they’re open [to change]. I think the positives could be substantial.”

There will be two mandatory timeouts per quarter. One will come at the first dead ball under 6:59 of …read more