NBA Reportedly Exploring Major Change To Overtime Format

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Over the past few years, load management has become one of the NBA’s more divisive issues courtesy of the players who’ve opted to ride the bench while healthy in the hopes of promoting longevity.

That approach has attracted a number of high-profile critics and resulted in the league rolling out some new rules to give players (and the teams who employ them) some extra incentive to provide fans with the best possible product on a nightly basis.

However, the league’s crackdown has still left a bit to be desired.

A couple of weeks ago, we learned Adam Silver and Co. were exploring the idea of instituting an as-of-yet unspecified  threshold concerning the number of games players would need to participate in over the course of the regular season if they want to be eligible for individual awards.

Now, it appears load management has inspired another potential change that could result in overtime looking very different than it has in the past.

According to Bleacher Report, multiple sources within the NBA say the league is looking into adopting the “target score”¬† concept (also known as the “Elam Ending”) that was introduced at the All-Star Game in 2020 to decide the outcome of (presumably regular season) games that aren’t decided by the end of regulation.

That format has already been introduced to the G League, which abandoned the five-minute overtime period in favor of the “Race To Seven Points” approach that now determines the winner.

It seems doubtful that change would serve as the straw that breaks load management’s back by itself, but as the outlet notes, it has reduced the length of the average overtime period by close to five minutes and would also eliminate the possibility of more than one frame needing to be played to decide who walks away with the W.

Only time will tell if the NBA will opt to adopt it prior to next season, but it’s certainly an intriguing concept.

Connor O'Toole avatar
Connor Toole is the Deputy Editor at BroBible. He is a New England native who went to Boston College and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Frequently described as "freakishly tall," he once used his 6'10" frame to sneak in the NBA Draft and convince people he was a member of the Utah Jazz.