Posted 1 years ago

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The reason behind NBA teams’ high scores

The reason behind NBA teams’ high scores
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As the new NBA season picks up pace, teams have been scoring a record number of points. While some of this is due to changed rules that intend to discourage the practice of intentional fouls, there are other contributing factors.

Currently, half of the teams have scored an average of 115 points per game, which was last observed in the 1969-1970 season. Furthermore, it was shown in the 2018-19 season how a fast start to a season could be correlated to better scores in the rest of the season, even if games slowed down in the later phase.

This, in combination with the trend of increasing average points per game in recent seasons (except for 2021) signals an exciting season ahead.


While the new rules have increased pace, it is complicated to relate this to the higher scores as the current average of 100.5 possessions per 48 minutes comes in as the second lowest after the 2017-18 season.

This means that NBA teams thus have very high efficiency at the moment, as the current average of points per 100 possessions is only marginally lower than the record 111.7 points per 100 possessions of the 2020-21 season. Over the past 26 years, the efficiency has never dipped below the value established in the first 12 days and hence this season is expected to end with the highest average efficiency ever.

 Furthermore, the new transition take foul rule has been evoked 32 times so far this season, which has also contributed to higher points by the offense by helping fast breaks that may not have developed in the absence of the rule. Additionally, the efficiency of transition opportunities has also risen with a current average of 1.26 points per play, compared to 1.22 in 2018-19. Another factor contributing to the higher points is offensive rebounding, with players taking advantage of at least a quarter of the opportunities.

However, the increased offensive rebounding has been related to increased transition play as well, which has in turn contributed to a lower number of three-pointer shots in the first 8 seconds, as compared to later in the game.

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