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Sunday's Nets-Celtics preseason game to serve as experiment

Gerald Wallace of the Boston Celtics and Brook

Gerald Wallace of the Boston Celtics and Brook Lopez of the Nets greet each other at Barclays Center. (Dec. 10, 2013) Photo Credit: Mike Stobe

Looks like the Nets and Celtics essentially will serve as guinea pigs Sunday.

In an effort to find ways to shorten the length of its games, the NBA announced yesterday the teams will play only 44 minutes in their preseason matchup at the Barclays Center this weekend. It's the league's way of reviewing the overall time flow of its contests.

During Sunday night's experiment, the four quarters will be reduced to 11 minutes apiece rather than the usual 12, and there will also be a decrease in the number of mandatory timeouts in the second and fourth quarters.

Nets coach Lionel Hollins is intrigued. He's on board with analyzing new ways to speed things up and doesn't mind being a part of the league's observatory process.

Hollins didn't coach the Nets' preseason matchup against the Kings in China on Sunday after falling ill. He had assistant Paul Westphal coaching the team in practice again yesterday while he recovers.

"When this idea came up at the coaches' meeting, I thought it was a unique experiment that was worth participating in," Hollins said in a statement. "I'm looking forward to gauging its impact on the flow of the game. Since there is a shorter clock, it affects playing time. So, it'll be interesting to see how it plays into substitution patterns."

Celtcs coach Brad Stevens seems equally as interested as Hollins to see how it all shakes out.

"I appreciate the NBA's long history of forward thinking and willingness to try new ideas," Stevens said. "We told the NBA that we'd be happy to participate in this trial during a preseason game. I look forward to experiencing it and continuing the dialogue after October 19."

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