We all got really excited to see that NBA scoring was up last year. There were a lot of articles about the up-tempo Phoenix Suns leading the charge. But Larry Brown is bursting that balloon pretty significantly. Check out what he had to say in his annual conference call with reporters:
The only difference I saw last year was there were more fouls called. The same number of shots were taken. I saw that stat. There were more fouls called and maybe a few more three-point shots taken, but many more foul shots taken. I don't know if that helps the flow of the game at all. We've got to find ways to get more shots. I think that would really help the game a lot. I think anybody on the rules committee or any people that really want to improve our sport should figure out ways that give us more opportunities to shoot the ball more. I think there are probably things that would help our game in that regard.
Can anyone confirm that? Is all of the scoring increase really entirely attributable to free throws? If so, that's a piece of news that one of us NBA reporters should have figured out long before Coach Brown. Shame on us.
UPDATE: Kevin Pelton says Coach Brown is off-base: "Larry is wrong on this one. Teams improved their scoring average by 3.8 points last year. They averaged 1.5 more free throws. So they were still scoring 2.3 more points per game on field goals. They turned the ball over less (-.5 turnovers per game) and turned those inot more shots (+.5) which they hit more frequently (FG% from .439 to .447, 3P% from .347 to .355, 2P% from .460 to .470). Free throws were a lot of it, but teams shot more and better too."