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Mark Gaughan's Power Take: Give us all a break and cut basketball's timeouts

Basketball needs fewer timeouts. Desperately.

This is especially true in the NBA, where the flow of the game is interrupted far too frequently. Each NBA team gets six 60-second timeouts and two 20-second timeouts. There are “automatic” timeouts (aka media breaks) at the 6- and 3-minute marks of the first and third quarters and the 9-, 6- and 3-minute marks of the second and fourth quarters. In a lot of games, four of each team’s 60-second timeouts get gobbled up in the course of the media breaks. Still, give us a break with all these breaks. Men’s college basketball trimmed each team’s TOs from five to four in 2015. But there still are four TV breaks in college games. The back-and-forth flow and the ball movement exhibited by the best basketball teams is beautiful to watch. Let it happen.

John Wooden, arguably the greatest coach ever, was known for placidly watching from the bench and judiciously using timeouts. His players were well-trained, and he let them play. What a concept! The game should embrace it.

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