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Old 01-27-2013, 09:17 AM   #43
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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Default Re: Career Turnovers: Kobe Bryant 3,576 Michael Jordan 2,924

Despite the dip in 3-point percentage, overall scoring is up this season. The league is scoring more than 200 points per game (200.01 to be precise) for the first time since the 1994-95 season. But that's more about pace than offensive efficiency. At 95.2 possessions per team per 48 minutes, this is the fastest pace the league has played at in the last 10 years. Efficiency is actually down from last season as the league is scoring 104.2 points per 100 possessions, down from 105.4 in 2008-09.

Along with the dip in 3-point percentage, the mid-range game continues to fade. The percentage of mid-range points (points not scored at the line, in the paint or beyond the arc) is down to just 20.6 percent. Points in the paint are higher than they've been since the league started tracking them in the 2000-01 season. Those baskets account for 41.7 percent of all points this season, up from 40.1 percent a year ago.(So much for this zone myth of keeping perimeter guys out of the lanes)

Scoring from the mid-range area isn't a trend that good offensive teams have. Chicago scores 26.9 percent of its points from mid-range and ranks 27th offensively. Detroit scores 26.6 percent of its points from mid-range and ranks 26th offensively. Dallas (25.2 percent, 10th) and Portland (24.9 percent, seventh) go against the grain, thanks to the shooting of Dirk Nowitzki and LaMarcus Aldridge.

New Jersey Nets executive Rod Thorn, a longtime expert on NBA rules, acknowledges that last season the league adopted a dramatic shift in how it interpreted the rules of the game.

No longer would a defensive player on the perimeter be allowed to use his hand, a barred arm or any sort of physical contact to impede or block the movement of either a cutter or a ball handler.

In a recent interview, Thorn said that the NBA had changed the rule to give an advantage to the offensive player.

“It’s more difficult now to guard the quick wing player who can handle the ball,” Thorn said of the change. “I think it helps skilled players over someone who just has strength or toughness. What the NBA is trying to do is promote unimpeded movement for dribblers or cutters.”

Thorn said the change was made because muscular defensive players had gotten the upper hand.

“My opinion is that the game had gone too much toward favoring strong players over skilled players,” Thorn said. “The NBA felt there was too much body, too much hand-checking, being used by defenders to the detriment of the game. There was a feeling that there was too much advantage for a defensive player who could merely use his strength to control the offensive player.”

The new rules interpretations have attempted to address that issue, Thorn said.

“If the refs perceive that a defender is bumping the cutter, or bumping a ball-handler, then they’ll blow their whistles.”

Blow their whistles is exactly what officials began doing in both the NBA and its Development League (where many nights officials were whistling a whopping 60 to 70 fouls a game).

This new way of calling became increasingly apparent with each regular-season game last year, and it really made an impression during the playoffs. Free from the physical challenge of defenders, offensive players found many more opportunities to attack the basket – and draw fouls.

“The good wing players – LeBron, Kobe, Arenas, Wade, Carter – shot a lot of free throws with the way the game is now called,” Thorn admitted.

The changes will not bring the end of defense as we know it, Thorn said. “The good defensive teams are still good. It’s just more difficult to cover those wing players, there’s no doubt about it.”

Also saw you making a comment about recovery and quickness Did it ever occur to you, that due to no handchecking, that these guys are allowed to display more of those qualities....handchecking forced you to turn u'r back to opponents....Stu Jackson what is that??? Oh spacing and dribble drive penetration have helped produce higher quality shots and given shooters more time??? Shooting percentages have risen since 2004-05 regardless of location -- at-the-rim shots, short- and deep-mid range and 3-pointers. Does this surprise you, especially the higher percentages from 3-point range?

SJ: It doesn't. With the rule and interpretation changes, it has become more difficult for defenders to defend penetration, cover the entire floor on defensive rotations and recover to shooters. This has provided more time for shooters to ready themselves for quality shots. With more dribble penetration, ball handlers are getting more opportunities at the rim. Additionally, teams now realize the 3-point shot is a great competitive equalizer, so they are taking more; they have improved their skill level on threes and are making them at a higher rate.
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