New rules: G League will set a target score for OT games

Amir Johnson of the G League Ignite jumps for the ball during the game against the Santa Cruz Warriors March 8, 2022.

Overtime in the G League will be a seven-point race this season.

The schedule for the 22nd year of the G League was released Thursday, with the 50-game roster — an 18-game Showcase Cup earlier in the year, then a 32-game regular season — beginning November 4 and ending November 25 March ends.

The playoffs begin on March 28th.

And the league is making some changes, with the move to a “target score” for its overtime games being one of the most important. The first team to score seven points in the OT period wins, and this additional session is untimed.

The G League set seven points as their overtime target because they wanted to make sure overtime lasted longer than two possessions.

The move mirrors what the NBA has done in its last three All-Star Games, as a target score — depending on which team was leading after three quarters, plus 24 points, in a nod to one of Kobe Bryant’s jersey numbers — for one Time without time was set fourth quarter.

A variation of the target score will also be used for all games at December’s G League Winter Showcase in Las Vegas. There will be no clock in the fourth quarter of these games; the leading score after three quarters is increased by 25 points, and the first team to that number wins. For example, if Team A leads Team B 75-74 after three quarters, the first team to 100 points would be the winner.

The concept of target score is something the NBA seriously considered for some events in 2019, when then-President of the National Basketball Players Association, Chris Paul, was a big fan of The Basketball Tournament, a summer event that only… goes to winners, which consists mostly of college alumni teams – reached out to say the league should study the concept.

The basketball tournament, commonly referred to as TBT, uses what is known as the Elam end; In these games, the clock is turned off at the first stoppage at 4:00 or less in the fourth quarter, and the target score there is eight points above the lead score at the time.

Another new feature for the G League this season is that the league-sponsored Ignite team will be a full member with a 50-game schedule and qualify for the league championship for the first time.

The G League Ignite, which will play out of a new home in Henderson, Nevada this season, exists to develop young prospects in preparation for the NBA draft. The first two seasons saw three top 10 draft picks – last year Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga, this year Dyson Daniels.

Also fully booked this season: the Mexico City Capitanes. They will host the first game of the G League regular season in Mexico on November 6 when they meet the defending champions Rio Grande Valley Vipers.