The NBA has a scoring boom!


Imagine this scenario and tell me what you would do. You’re a basketball player competing against the Atlanta Hawks. It’s the fourth quarter and you’re up by one point with 10 seconds left in the game. Your defensive assignment is two-time All-Star Trae Young who is known for his deep threes, impressive passing ability, and his annoying habit of drawing shooting fouls. He dribbles with his left, crosses to his right, does a hesitation dribble then cuts to the free-throw line. He then stops, jumps backward into your body, and shoots the ball which subsequently causes the referee to blow the whistle and call a shooting foul, awarding Young with two free throws. He makes both shots and your team loses.
Both former and current NBA players have expressed their displeasure with this loophole that has mainly been exploited by the Hawks’ star guard. Including two-time MVP Steve Nash who ironically said, “That’s not basketball,” even though he was also infamous for drawing cheap fouls. The NBA heard these cries and decided to crack down on this loophole and change the rules to where backing up into a defender is no longer a foul. This took immediate effect in the league, which saw a notable decrease in points per game. Players such as James Harden, Trae Young, Luka Doncic, and Bradley Beal saw a dip in their scoring numbers, shooting percentages, and overall offensive production. This obviously came with a few exceptions such as Young scoring 56 points with 14 assists on the third of January, and a 15-point outing from James Harden on December 27th. The NBA only saw eight 50-point games from October to February which is average compared to previous seasons.
This scoring slump seemed to be inevitable following the rule change. However, this would all change on the last day of February when Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant exploded for 52 points. Since then, the NBA has seen eight 50-point games in the past three weeks. Including 60-point games on back-to-back nights coming from Nets guard Kyrie Irving and Timberwolves’ center Karl-Anthony Towns, as well as 27 games where an individual player scores 40 or greater. What is the cause of this scoring boom? Referees easing up on the new rule? Newer offensive schemes? Pure coincidence? Nobody knows for certain but everybody agrees it’s definitely entertaining. With playoffs around the corner and teams in a heated race for a spot in the NBA’s final 16, this should go down as one of the greatest seasons in recent history.