The NBA Could Implement A Target Score To Overtime Games Next Season


Will the NBA be eliminating double, triple and so on overtimes in the near future? According to a report by Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus, this seems to be on the NBA’s table for next season.

Instead, overtime could then be played using a target score, just like they started doing in the fourth quarter of the NBA All-Star Game ever since 2020. This is called the Elam Endig, named after Nick Elam, a basketball fan who created the concept in 2007 as a way to make the end of basketball games more exciting.

Under the Elam Ending, the game clock is turned off at a certain point in the game (in our case at the start of overtime) and a target score is set. The target score is determined by adding a set number of points to the leading team’s score at the time the clock is turned off. The first team to reach the target score wins the game.

The Elam Ending aims to eliminate the strategy of fouling in the late stages of a game to stop the clock and give the trailing team more opportunities to score. It also creates a sense of urgency and excitement as the game ends, since both teams know exactly how many points they need to score to win. In our case it also prevents more than one overtime period and extended minutes for NBA players.

Per Bleacher Report:


“Another potential change could be the use of a target score, but just for overtime. The G League has experimented with the rule in overtime during the regular season and for fourth quarters during the Winter Showcase in Las Vegas. In comparing regular overtime from the 2021-22 season to target-score overtime pre-Showcase, the length dipped from 13 minutes on average to 8.5…

…That would prevent overlong broadcasts and overloading player minutes, like Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard’s playing 46 minutes in a double-overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings,”


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