How Long Is Halftime in the NBA?


Have you ever wondered how long is halftime in the NBA or what are the players and coaches doing when they are not on the basketball court? 

Sit tight because we have answers to all questions regarding the NBA halftime. 

How Long Is NBA Halftime?

First, we have to go through the structure of an NBA game. These matches consist of four quarters, each 12 minutes long. Additionally, there are clock stops for fouls, timeouts, and one halftime break during the game. 

Still, there is no certainty on how long the NBA game will last. Typically, an NBA match lasts between two and three hours.

The NBA halftime length is 15 minutes. This is because halftime in basketball starts after the second quarter of the game. 

Although halftime is the most extended break during the match, the NBA games have other,  shorter breaks during the play, like timeout and the 130-second quarter intermissions. During this time, players can quickly recharge, hydrate, and discuss their game strategy.

What Is the Purpose of a Halftime Break in Basketball?

Time is not a friend of the coaches and the players, and even though the 15-minute halftime may seem long to those watching the game, many things must be done during the intermission. 

The team’s coach, players, live commentators, and the audience all take a break from the excitement of the basketball match. But, of course, they all have different agendas, so let’s take a peek at what each of them does during the half break.

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The half break and the time-outs are the most valuable time for the coaches. During the first two quarters, every coach carefully analyses the players’ performance and decides if there should be a change in the game strategy. 

The coach and his team gather in the locker room and discuss the game. Then, if there is a need, the coaches introduce the players to the new tactics that will improve their play.

One of the motivation tactics that coaches use is showing the players video clips from the game and explaining what was well done on the floor in the first half. On the other hand, they also discuss things that need to be changed and situations to watch out for during the second half. 

Coaches usually have six or seven minutes to influence, motivate and give the players advice before they return to the court for a warm-up. And most importantly, they have to be short, concise, and positive and provide the basketball players enough time to absorb the information and recharge for the rest of the game.

Remember that all coaches have different approaches, so the halftime break looks different in every locker room.


The three most essential things NBA players must do during halftime are to listen to their coaches, hydrate, and rest. Every minute of rest the players get is vital because they need to collect enough energy to perform even better than in the first half.

Aside from meeting with the coaches in the locker room, players usually consult with athletic trainers or massage therapists if they are experiencing any pain. This will minimise their chances of getting injuries on the court. 

Of course, the players return to the basketball court to warm up in the last minutes of the halftime break. 

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photo source: twitter

Television commentators of the NBA games use the halftime break to share their expert opinions on the play with the viewers. On the other hand, English Premier League commentators use the pause between halftime just to take a break from commenting.

Sometimes they just make a recap of the game they witnessed during the first half, and sometimes they’ll share their predictions for the second half. 


photo source: belaeytrials

So, what’s in it for the audience during the NBA halftime? 

Whether watching the game live or on TV, basketball fans enjoy many different halftime performances, some of which are performed by some of the hottest cheerleaders.

From dogs playing basketball to people with almost superhuman balancing powers, the NBA halftime shows are a real treat to watch.

There are many NBA half breaks where the show stars are the team mascots that call out fans to a layup contest of free throws.

How Long Is Halftime in Professional Basketball?

Whether you’re watching an NBA, WNBA or FIBA professional match, the halftime in basketball lasts 15 minutes

On the other hand, the playing time differs between the leagues. For instance, one FIBA quarter lasts 10 minutes, and the WNBA professional match is played in two 20-minute halves.

To Conclude

Now that you know how long is halftime in NBA, feel free to share the fun facts about it with your friends and discuss the different things that can happen in such a short period of 15 minutes.

Do you agree that a wisely used halftime in basketball can change the players’ performance and even the match’s outcome?

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