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NBA G League introduces experimental free throw rule

George Hill #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots a free throw in the closing seconds of regulation against the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on May 31, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

The National Basketball Association’s developmental G League will experiment with a new free throw rule this season.

Players will take just a single foul shot when they go to the free throw line, which will be worth either one, two or three points depending on the nature of the foul leading to the attempt.

The rule, however, will not apply during the last two minutes of the fourth quarter or at any point during overtime.

The aim of the exercise is to improve game flow and reduce the length of games. Brad Walker, the head of basketball operations for the G League, told ESPN that the new rule will shave off between six and eight minutes in the duration of each contest.

According to ESPN, there are some concerns over the resulting decrease in on-court rest time for players and the effect it will have on deviating from historical statistical standards. The initiative will be evaluated at the end of the season.

The Big3 three-on-three professional league has already adopted a similar free throw rule, although single foul shots there worth three and four points are respectively taken from the league’s three- and four-point lines.