The early story of the season has been the scoring has dropped 7.8% (through Dec. 1) and returned to levels seen before rule changes were instituted for the 2013-14 season. The block/charge call has been blamed, but the difference is deeper than just one change.
All data points below compare the first 18 days of the 2013-14 season and the first 18 days of this year. The numbers are computed on a per team, per game basis. Note the chart at right calculates scoring data through the third Sunday of each of the last ten seasons.
- Possessions are down 2.8 per team, per game (from 70.7 to 68.0), a decrease of 3.9%.
- Scoring is down 5.7 points per team, per game, a decrease of 7.8% (through Dec. 1). With possessions also down, points per possession are down 4.0% (from 1.040 to 0.998). Scoring is up 0.41% (up 0.28 PPG) between 2014-15 and the first 18 days of the 2012-13 season.
- Like past years, scoring has decreased on a week-to-week basis each week so far this season.
- 40.0% of the scoring decrease is tied to fewer made free throws, 58.5% from fewer made 2-pt field goals and 1.5% from fewer made 3-pt field goals.
- The average length of a possession was 17.06 seconds over the first 18 days of the 2013-14 season, while the average length has been 17.76 seconds to date this year (an increase of 0.70 seconds per possession, up 4.1%).
- Field Goal Attempts per possession are nearly constant. but 3-pt field goal attempts per possession are up slightly (4.0%). 34.2% of team’s shots are 3’s this year (up from 32.8% last year), meaning teams are taking more 3’s and less 2’s.
- Free Throw Attempts are down 12.8% (3.06 FTA/game), and down 9.3% per possession.
- Steals per possession are up 5.9% and turnovers per possession are up 8.9%, reversing a trend that was tied directly to the increase in fouls and free throw attempts last year.
- Personal fouls are down 6.5% per game (1.32 per team, per game), down 2.6% per possession.