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Statistical trends at the start of the NBA season

With 112.6 points scored by teams on average since the start of the season, the NBA is on the basis of its most prolific scoring campaign since the end of the 1960s…

As a reminder, the maximum was reached in 1966/67, with 117.4 points scored on average in each game. The pace then slowed considerably, reaching a low of 91.6 points in 1998/99. Since then, the “scoring” goes back, even if it should be noted that it has stabilized all the same for five seasons.

The rate of use of 3-pointers down…

It was mainly between 2015 and 2019 that the offensive explosion took place, the “scoring” going from 100 points per game to 111.2. An explosion linked to the use of 3-point shooting, the rate of use of which (ie the number of 3-point shots taken compared to the total number of shots) has almost doubled in ten years. In 2011, this rate was still 22.6% when it was almost 40% last season!

Except that for the first time since the NBA returned the line to 7m25 (the league had brought it closer to 6m70 for three seasons in the mid-1990s), we see this year a drop in this rate of use of 3- points…

Is it structural? It’s still too early to tell but as we also observe statistically an increase in cuts towards the circle, it seems that this is a real trend, the teams having adapted so much defensively to defending opponents wide that the attacks evolve in response, in order to better trap them.

Teams return to offensive rebound

Another trend is the rising ball loss rate, but this is common at the start of the season, with teams losing more balls in the first few weeks. On the other hand, the increase in the offensive rebound rate seems much more interesting. For years, the race for the effectiveness of NBA attacks had led coaches to try to limit ball losses as much as possible, but also to favor defensive withdrawal, to the detriment of offensive rebounds, which some teams had almost abandoned.

But as Monty Williams explained recently, this trend is also changing, with the offensive rebound rate rising to 24%, when it was at its historic low in 2020/21.

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