Has Scoring Become Too Easy For Space and Pace Analytic-Driven Offenses? | NBA Brass Set To Address Elephant In The Room 

With the NBA in the midst of an offensive explosion and scoring as high as it’s been since 1969-70, and with offensive efficiency records being set in six of the last eight seasons league brass is reportedly set to finally address the elephant in the room.

With NBA offensive efficiency records being set in six of the last eight seasons, league brass is reportedly set to finally address the elephant in the room. (Photo: Getty Images)

Adam Silver and the boys have to assess whether or not the game is too advantageous for the offense. Can defenses even possibly be effective under the current rules?

It’s been trending that way for quite a while now. Players have scored at least 60 points six times this season, with two reaching the 70-point plateau. Nine other times players have dropped 50.

Now these offensive explosions are being pushed to the forefront of league talks. Naturally, they will take a look at how the game is officiated.

NBA Brass Set To Discuss Possible Changes: It’s All About Space

When you watch an NBA game, it’s all about pace and space, and while that’s played a role in how the scoring has changed it’s not the only reason.

In a recent report, ESPN NBA analyst Tim Bontemps and Kevin Pelton both discussed the offensive onslaught, and some of the league’s decision makers have also been making rounds addressing the matter.

Earlier this month former Detroit Pistons legend, and the league’s current executive vice president of basketball operations, Joe Dumars told ESPN this about the current state of NBA offenses and the lack of defense. 

“It is a topic that we’re monitoring. We’re diving in right now to make sure that we’re on the right side of this.”

This season teams are averaging a league-record 115 points per game, which is a 22-point jump from the time league cracked down on defensive hand-checking and extremely physical defense prior to the 2004-2005 season.

That’s definitely become a sticking point, and while at the time hand-checking was only banned above the free throw line, in today’s game it’s been taken totally out of the game. That move right there alone has had a huge effect on scoring, and while it didn’t happen overnight it’s been a gradual climb to where we are today. But that’s not the only reason for the significant offensive jump. 

Offensive Explosion Has Made Game More Appealing To Viewers

According to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, the explosive offense is a good thing for the league. Not only is scoring up, but league-wide free throw percentage is at an all-time high (78.3%), three-point shooting (36.7%) is the best it’s ever been, and team turnovers are down to (13.6) per game, the best mark since the stat began being tracked in 1970-71.

That’s also a result of players just being more skilled than in the past. The game has changed from the traditional post-up big man to centers now consistently being threats all the way out to the three-point line. In many ways it’s become position-less basketball. 

Even though Silver seems to be happy where the game currently is, he hears the peanut gallery’s complaints about defense being phased out of the game, leading to lackluster hoops and easy pickings on the scoring end.

NBA Physicality Won’t Return To 90s Levels

In a recent interview with Shaun Powell of NBA.com, in so many words, Silver told everyone not to fret. 

“Some of that might be minor adjustments in terms of how much physicality is allowed by defensive players. Even though some of the very people who are complaining about too much offense are the first in many cases to say, My guy isn’t getting the calls he deserves. The good news is the game has never been better. These are addressable issues.”

Even if the league allows hand-checking and more physicality, the game will never go back to allowing any of the rough stuff it once did. Th entire style of play is different. It would take another 20 years and more rules changes to at least even it out. Besides, the league believes that today’s fans don’t want to watch games in the low 90’s anymore.

And as Silver stated, the game is as good as it’s been (financially). No way he wants to ruin that. 

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