‘Inflation’ hits the NBA

The phenomenon of “scoring inflation” in the National Basketball Association (NBA) is getting worse every year.

With the 2023-2024 regular season schedule 60% complete, four teams are averaging more than 120 points per game, led by the Indiana Pacers (124.8 points per game). Last season, the Sacramento Kings were the only other team to average more than 120 points (120.7). Ten years ago, in the 2013-2014 season, the Los Angeles Clippers 온라인카지노 averaged 107.9 points.

Superstar “scoring shows” are also becoming more prominent. Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic poured in 73 points against the Atlanta Hawks on Dec. 26, tying him for fourth on the all-time single-game scoring list. Just 22 days earlier, Joel Embiid (center) of the Philadelphia 76ers scored 70 points against the San Antonio Spurs. Last season, Damian Lillard (now Milwaukee Bucks-guard) and Donovan Mitchell (Cleveland Cavaliers-guard) each scored 71 points for the Portland Trailblazers.

This high-scoring trend is related to the changing style of play in the NBA. Unlike the old days of post offense, the modern NBA is all about the three-point shot. Ten seasons ago, in 2013-2014, the Houston Rockets attempted the most 3-pointers per game at 26.6. This season, four teams take more than 40 three-pointers per game, led by the Boston Celtics (42.7). Even the Los Angeles Lakers (30.5), who attempt the fewest three-pointers (30.5), take over 30 shots per game from behind the three-point line, which is 7.24 meters from the rim (FIBA is 6.75 meters).

Today’s big men, who are often classified as centers or power forwards, work on dribbling and shooting drills from a young age and develop a variety of offensive skills in the perimeter outside of the paint zone. There are only so many defensive tactics that can be used to counteract an offense that spreads the court. The “collaborative defense” to contain the opponent’s leading scorer is concentrated in the frontcourt and on the wings around the free throw line. If you’re playing a sloppy help defense, you run the risk of giving up open shots to opponents in the corners and elsewhere. Every player can shoot the 3-pointer, and the percentage is high, so you never know where the shot will come from.

As the tempo of the game quickens and the number of offenses increases, so does the scoring, including converting fast break opportunities into 3-pointers. Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said last season that “the overall defensive knowledge of players, including transition defense against the opponent’s fast break, is not as good as it used to be”. His analysis is that defensive skills have not kept up with the evolution of offensive tactics.