What do you call a game contested for four 12-minute quarters that manages to stretch to 2 -1/2 to three hours of real time?

The Yanks, and we suppose, anyone else with an interest calls it the NBA.

In an effort to improve game flow, the NBA competition committee has made a number of changes to the rules.

Players shooting free throws will no longer be permitted to stroll around beyond the three-point arc between free throws. Any who do go wandering will cost their team a delay-of-game violation.

If we were texting this article, we would have to type ROTFL. Players will still be permitted to accept make-or-miss hand slaps from their teammates and they will still be permitted to stand at the line and dribble to their heart’s content.

Another somewhat comical attempt to speed up the pace of play, the so-called “20-second” timeouts will be eliminated to be replaced by 75-second time outs. Twenty seconds is in quotes in the previous sentence because they often lasted as long as 60 seconds.

There will still be two mandatory time-outs in each of the four quarters, which will replace the mandatory timeouts that came after any stoppage of play with less than nine minutes remaining in the second and fourth quarters.

Very clear, is it not?

Halftime breaks will now be 15 minutes, commencing the moment the horn sounds for the end of the second quarter. Teams had better be ready to resume when that 15-minute clock expires, lest they want to be confronted with the dreaded delay-of-game penalty.

For casual basketball fans, the D.O.G., as it is sometimes known, results in a technical free throw for the other side, meaning that no players can stand along the lane to observe.

For financial observers, the message is clear: Advertisers had best be prepared to pay more for their slots and they will also have to learn to truncate their message and get to the point quicker.