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The One Thing Killing the 2012 NBA Finals: 4-Minute Timeouts

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 03:  (L-R) Juwan Howard #5, Norris Cole #30, Ronny Turiaf #21, LeBron James #6  and Joel Anthony #50 of the Miami Heat look on from the bench in the first half against the Boston Celtics in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on June 3, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Ethan Sherwood StraussNBA Lead WriterJune 15, 2012

I'm sure the older Miami Heat players think four-minute timeouts are just fine. It certainly acts as substitute bench time for the overworked LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

I, as a viewer, am not so enamored. It's bad enough that we've added replay review to the mix, gumming up the game to a tar-pit pace. Now we have four-minute timeouts? With cruddy ABC Disney movie tie-ins during ad breaks? Yeesh.

New rule: A man should not be able to run a mile before the timeout is up. While I realize that advertisers have to make money, at a certain point, the game's flow is impeded. Basketball is not football—action is meant to have some continuity. Four-minute timeouts all but ensure that we'll never have a finish quite like this fast-moving European heart-shaker:

While much of the focus was on the reffing Thursday night, there is a more subtle game troll out there, and he must be stopped. The four-minute timeout needs to go. 

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