Rivers says new 90-second “handshake” rule hurts coaches

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You’ve seen players complain about the NBA’s new “90 seconds from intros to tip off” rule, saying the fans love their pregame handshake rituals. You’ve seen the media complain that the NBA fun police are out, taking cues from the NFL.

Now you can add a coach to the list of those who don’t like the rule. Doc Rivers came out and said he actually tries to coach in that window and the NBA rule cuts him off. Via CSNNE.com.

“I think they forgot that the coach actually has to draw up a play before the opening (tip),” said Boston’s Doc Rivers. “You usually do that. … I like why we’re doing it. I just think we need to re-think the time. Ninety seconds is not enough. We probably need 30 more seconds or a minute.”

Rivers is right.

My issue with this is the seeming arbitrariness of it. I get the NBA wants to speed up the game — that’s a good intention — but there are a lot of other, more effective ways to attack that. Zach Lowe laid out a series at Grantland. Personally, I like the idea of limiting the number of timeouts a coach can call in the final two minutes of a game, that is where things drag out and where I just want to see the players play. Don’t eliminate them, but what about two timeouts in the final two minutes per team?

Nah, handshake rituals and coaches pregame plans are the real culprits. Not television.