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Final Scores: Does anyone play defense anymore?

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by Sajan, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. Sajan

    Sajan Member

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    Looking at final scores for nba games and most are over 100 pts. Are teams just not playing defense anymore? Or is everyone hitting a bunch of 3s now?

    5 or 6 years back most games were in the 80s and 90s. It's like every team became the phoenix suns over the last 5 years.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_stats.html
    the pace is increasing year by year..
     
  2. malakas

    malakas Member

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    A lot of teams play defence. I like the Spurs defence (which by analytics is one of the most elite historically) and I like the Celtic's defence and Miami's. Teams like the Suns the Lakers and the Rockets dont' play defence.
    The reason for higher scores are as you said faster pace, and higher volume of 3 pointers.
     
  3. FTW Rockets FTW

    FTW Rockets FTW Contributing Member

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    Some of it is defense but a lot of it is teams are now pushing the ball. Playing at a faster pace which results in more possessions and more points. More transition points. Less half court running down the shot clock possessions etc
     
  4. JayGoogle

    JayGoogle Member

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    Well no more hand checking helps with that too and no more low post game to where you had to play half court, let your guy get post position.

    It's now a game centered around the guards for better or for worse.
     
  5. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    This is what the NBA wanted... higher scores/more points are more watched games. People don't tune in to defensive lock-down struggles.

    The NBA could take it one step further and have them call all playoff games nearly the same way... its no coincidence that when the refs let them play more, and it gets more physical, scoring goes down.
     
  6. francis 4 prez

    francis 4 prez Contributing Member

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    As pointed out, the increase in pace has basically been offset by a decrease in offensive efficiency (or increase in defensive efficiency). that seems somewhat counter-intuitive as it should be harder to guard teams flying up the court, but then in the 60's the pace was breakneck, far faster than today, and efficiency was awful so maybe at some point going to fast hurts your efficiency as you aren't looking for a good shot anymore.

    between analytics increasing the pace and the warriors presumably having a SSOL suns effect in increasing the pace, it's somewhat refreshing to see the pace increase, although when teams like the suns and kings do it, i'm not exactly sure what the purpose is as it doesn't seem to make them scarier.
     
  7. francis 4 prez

    francis 4 prez Contributing Member

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    i remember checking 2 seasons ago when we played portland in the first round and the free throw rate was actually higher in the playoffs than in the regular season. and it wasn't just that the teams better at getting to the line were the ones good enough to make the playoffs as the 16 teams pretty much had a league average free throw rate. i suspect the desire to not give up easy shots increases in the playoffs and the general intensity ratchets up and leads to more fouls. the decrease in pace is probably due to an "ncaa tournament"-like effect where everyone starts walking it up because no one wants to look like they're taking an ill-advised, quick shot and everyone is looking for the best shot, even if it's actually in their best interest to keep playing up-tempo like in the regular season.

    maybe this season, and the 60's/70's, is showing that there's an equilibrium tempo relative to the level of defense that the league needs to play at to achieve maximum offensive efficiency. they played faster in the 80's with more efficiency, but despite many claims and the occaional highlight of a kevin mchale clothesline of kurt rambis to the contrary, defense was much, much worse in the 80's, in both intensity and scheme (seriously people, watch Hardwood Classics when they come on nbatv, if you complain about harden now your head would probably explode watching a generic 80's game). maybe the nba has become too fast for its own good this season, even though the total scoring is still elevated compared to the last 20 seasons.



    ** side note: i looked 2 seasons ago because it seemed to me, and many rockets fans, that portland was getting a lot of calls in our series, specifically as it relates to lamarcus aldridge getting tons of calls 20 feet from the basket and dwight getting none while getting hit right by the basket.. as it turned out, they were getting favorable treatment. their free throw rate went up markedly from the regular season, while ours went down markedly, despite the fact both of our defenses were good at reducing an opponent's free throw rate. meaning our decline may not have been out of line, but portland's large increase versus what should have been a large decline was ridiculous. i remember hubie brown specifically calling out the refs in one game for giving aldridge too many calls and dwight not enough, so that kind of validated the favorable portland treatment theory for me. the fact the league had to publicly apologize for calls in 2 separate calls in close/OT games also kind of validated the theory of rockets fans.
     
  8. Kevooooo

    Kevooooo Member

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    No, the league practically forbids it.
     
  9. Jontro

    Jontro Member

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    The players got 3x better than in the 90's.
     
  10. dmoneybangbang

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    It's hard to set up your defense when you are scrambling and on your heels.
     
  11. BackdoorHarden

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    The Spurs were only giving up 88 points a game until they ran into the Warriors and the new Cavs.
     
  12. BackdoorHarden

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    Wow....I remember watching the Nuggets, Lakers, etc and everyone scoring over 120 points a game, but I didn't realize EVERYONE was scoring over 110 points a game in the 80's.

    Even after they removed the hand check in 2004, teams were only scoring 98 points just 3 years ago!!!

    Teams scoring 100 points is still a lot less than when teams were scoring 110 every night
     
  13. BackdoorHarden

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    The 90's were the worst basketball ever. I can't believe anyone wants to go back to that. They must have never watched 80's basketball.

    Those guys in the 90's couldn't shoot for a lick. It was horrible.
     
  14. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة
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    They emphasize efficiency and shooting now,

    post game isn't used that much any longer
     
  15. rocketman12

    rocketman12 Member

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    98-2004 was a god awful era of NBA basketball. Anything to keep us from going back to that era needs to be applied. Remember those Indiana/pistons game in the 2004 playoffs? Just horrible basketball. 69-65 was a actual final score in that series. Who the hell wants to watch that?

    That 1999 fifty game season was a abomination due to half the league being out of shape because a lot of players didn't think there was even going to be a season.

    I don't understand why any basketball fan wants to go back to the era where teams struggled to get to 100
     
  16. CCity Zero

    CCity Zero Member

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    For real, those were some ****ty times... I always like seeing 100+, scores in the 70s sucked.
     
  17. CCity Zero

    CCity Zero Member

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    Meant scores in 70 range, not the decade :)...
     
  18. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    You can only really play defense in the paint
    unless it is on a superstar guard . . . or any guard
    then all you can do it stand perfectly still with your hands up and not flinch a bit . . .else its a foul

    If you a big in the paint. . then the defense can hack pull push slap cut and maim with no call though
    so it evens out


    Rocket River
     
  19. Easy

    Easy Very Calm
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    I don't have any data. But they call a lot of touch fouls at jump shots, making defending shooters a lot harder. Not to mention the amount of flopping during the shooting motion. That pretty much means that the defender can't really get too close to challenge a shot or a foul is likely to be called.

    Add to that, the sharp increase of 3pt shooting. I am almost sure that the 3-free throw fouls have also sharply increased.
     
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