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-   -   What to make of the big decline in individual scoring averages? (http://www.insidehoops.com/forum/showthread.php?t=283381)

Clifton 12-05-2012 01:50 AM

What to make of the big decline in individual scoring averages?
 
Remember in 2006, when every team had someone who would go out and score 25 every night? It seemed like every team had someone in the "Kobe role" or "AI role". Remember when guys like Gilbert Arenas, Michael Redd, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, heck even Shawn Marion, Jason Richardson, Mike Bibby, Chris Bosh, Elton Brand were expected to put their teams on their back every night and drop 20-25? Even Mike James put up 20ppg that year... and why? Because that was what you did. Every team had a guy who could. If you didn't have that guy, you found someone on your team and gave him enough shots until he was that guy.

Compare:

2006:
>30ppg: 3
>24: 13
>20: 28

2009:
>30: 1
>24: 7
>20: 27

2011/12:
>30: 0
>24: 4
>20: 16

This year:
>30: 0
>24: 5
>20: 10

I get that D Rose and Amare and Dirk have been hurt, but this is striking to me. I see this as the emphasis switching back to team play, and away from superstardom.

Right now, Kobe Bryant is at 27.3ppg, and many fans, both pro- and anti-Kobe, think he is really stretching himself thin scoring that much, that he should be shooting less. And yet, in 2006, he would be fifth, only barely edging out Wade at 27.2.

And take a look at the standings. Oklahoma City and New York and Miami have their high scoring stars, yes, but they're known for team chemistry, not hero ball. And besides them, check out Memphis (top scorer: Rudy Gay, 18.9), San Antonio (Tim Duncan, 18.9), LAC (Jamal Crawford, 17.6), Golden State (Steph Curry, 18.9), Atlanta (Josh Smith, 16.1), Brooklyn (Brook Lopez, 18.5), and Boston (Paul Pierce, 19.2). Most good teams do not have a 20ppg scorer. There are teams that will make the playoffs, and do damage there, who don't even have an 18ppg scorer. Denver has a very good shot at the playoffs, and they do not even have a 16ppg scorer (but they have 6 guys averaging double figures).

What do you make of this? Does it mean anything? If so, what causes and effects would you identify?

I think of the 2000s as an "imitate Jordan" decade, that started to come to an end with the 2003 draft. With the ascendancy of Wade and Lebron, old-school stars who weren't as self-conscious as the Kobe/AI/Vince Carter generation of stars, when these guys really took over the league, guys known for their passing just as much as their dunks, people came to look at the game in a different way.

So, NBA culture is not pressuring Rudy Gay to be a 25ppg like Mike Redd was. But is that all? Is the individual talent less now than it was in 2006? Or is teamwork greater? Some combination of the two? What do you think?

Edit: This is helpful: http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/stats/by...elding&sort=25

TheBigVeto 12-05-2012 01:52 AM

Re: What to make of the big decline in individual scoring averages?
 
People are learning that chucking is not the right way to play basketball. Sharing the ball is the way to go.

The bad habits of Kobe-styled players are now being replaced by Lebron.

DuMa 12-05-2012 02:03 AM

Re: What to make of the big decline in individual scoring averages?
 
GMs and coaches dont want superstars to chuck 25 shots a game to get 30ppg. its a thing of the past. Even though Durant and LeBron and Melo can hit 30ppg, its not something they think they should do for the good of the team.

unless your name is Kupchak and D'antoni

Boston C's 12-05-2012 02:56 AM

Re: What to make of the big decline in individual scoring averages?
 
It was my favorite era and like someone mentioned the competitiveness was there and there were no super teams....i said this before.... i loved how at least half the league had a legitimate franchise caliber player and the golden era of swingmen still had some of these guys here now in their primes and in superstar form...loved the debate about how your franchise player was better then anyone elses and would lead your team to a ring even if your argument was convoluted and diluted with bias

it was fun...watching players put up scoring barrages, watching surprises every year, the 2005 sonics, the 2005 suns, the 07 raptors, the 07 warriors, 07 cavs, 04 pistons, etc

each of those teams had a superstar/perennial all star player (maybe not detroit true team ball) who was under the radar possibly and didnt get recognition, Ray Allen, Steve Nash, Amare Stoudamire, Chris Bosh, Baron Davis, Lebron breaking through to the finals....it was great to watch and great to watch underdogs that nobody thought had a chance have a shot at succeeding...the competitiveness was at a high back then

konex 12-05-2012 03:01 AM

Re: What to make of the big decline in individual scoring averages?
 
More great players teaming up. Look at Miami, Nets, Celtics, Blazers, Spurs etc. Take away one guy from those teams and the others would score much more. Lakers are a weird case cos Dwight would be putting up big numbers if he could make a freakin' ft

I.R.Beast 12-05-2012 03:01 AM

Re: What to make of the big decline in individual scoring averages?
 
teams are too stacked now...ball has to be shared...the gap between the number one two to three guys on the best teams right now arent as wide as they used to be...aint got jack to do with lebron changing the game as someone suggested..more player s gotta touch the ball now

plowking 12-05-2012 03:10 AM

Re: What to make of the big decline in individual scoring averages?
 
I've personally enjoyed watching this type of ball more than any, and it all started as recently as the Boston Celtics and Lakers 4 or 5 years ago.

There is a certain beauty of watching your favorite star on your team go off for a ridiculous amount of points every night, but I've always appreciated a well functioning offense where everyone knows what they're doing a whole lot more. Its just great seeing everyone in their spots and doing their job just right, resulting in certain plays with perfect ball movement and scrambling the other teams defense.

NumberSix 12-05-2012 03:28 AM

Re: What to make of the big decline in individual scoring averages?
 
Kobe is the only guy who's still trying to be like Mike. For everybody else, it's the era of all-around team players.

I<3NBA 12-05-2012 10:33 AM

Re: What to make of the big decline in individual scoring averages?
 
everyone's tryna be like Lebron.

Real Men Wear Green 12-05-2012 10:43 AM

Re: What to make of the big decline in individual scoring averages?
 
Part of of it is stars joining up. Wade, James and Bosh would all be scoring more if they all stayed on their original teams. James would be a 30+ scorer on a lot of other teams.

selrahc 12-05-2012 10:47 AM

Re: What to make of the big decline in individual scoring averages?
 
the defense this era is much greater than in years past. thats why kobe > jordan.

BoutPractice 12-05-2012 11:16 AM

Re: What to make of the big decline in individual scoring averages?
 
It might also have to do with greater use of sabermetrics.
While fans hate them, team do use them, and those stats tend to show how superficially good scoring stats don't tell the whole story.

SacJB Shady 12-05-2012 11:28 AM

Re: What to make of the big decline in individual scoring averages?
 
People are realizing that one on one isn't the best way to go for most teams anymore. Another thing too is that a lot of the ''stars'' are getting older in today's game. Obviously, you can't expect Pierce or Dirk to score as much as in the past, but they are still good.

jlip 12-05-2012 11:34 AM

Re: What to make of the big decline in individual scoring averages?
 
This thread is quite interesting and somewhat supports one of my premises, and that is defensive rule changes alone never satisfactorily account for differences in individual scoring across eras. So many other factors also contribute to the variances such as teams' systems, player movement (FA and trades), and league wide approaches to offense.

TimmyDuncan 12-05-2012 12:40 PM

Re: What to make of the big decline in individual scoring averages?
 
It's the super teams effects. Almost evey top 30 players are playing with another top 30 players or even 2.

It's really the Celtics in 2008 that changed the culture. Only way to beat them was to create another super team.
So LA did it and then Dallas with Kidd etc..

And Miami raised the bar again so the Nets, the Knicks, the clippers had to follow etc...

And now you have LeBron, Wade, Bosh, kobe, Dwight, Gasol, Deron, JJ, Melo, Amare, CP3, Griffin etc... all joining each other

Any of those players would have 3 or 4 more ppg in their previous team

And btw any of the spurs big 3 would have 3 or 4 more points in their career pts per game if they were not drafted by the spurs


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