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Are Players Averaging Less PPG Nowadays?

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Post#31 Re: Are Players Averaging Less PPG Nowadays?
Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:25 pm by TheKingOfVa360

tms386 wrote:
Nice job assembling players from the early 80's all the way to the mid 90's. If you want to use that great of a time period, "today's" top 20 would look just asgood.



He actually didn't do what you're accusing him of but I'm sure you never seen most of those players play. You can easily say that list is for the 94-95 season or 95-96 season it it would be accurate
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Post#32 Re: Are Players Averaging Less PPG Nowadays?
Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:35 pm by RutgersBJJ

Because all of the good scorers besides James Harden are on teams with other good scorers. Durant + Westbrook, Kobe+Dwight, CP3+Griffin, Wade+Bosh+Lebron.

If those 9 players were on 9 different teams instead of 4 different teams you would have 9 of the 9 above players posting 20+ppg instead of 4 of the 9.

Melo and Harden are the only elite scorers around the league who's scoring output isn't limited by the talent around them and that will probably change for Melo if Amar'e even returns to 70% of what he was in 2010-11.

Even look at the 2nd tier high output scorers.

Lopez, Pierce, Parker, Curry, etc... are all limited because they are on good teams with good talent around them. They don't have to score 30 every night to be in competitive games like someone on a team with less scoring talent like a James Harden has to do.
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Post#33 Re: Are Players Averaging Less PPG Nowadays?
Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:39 pm by sfernald

Kobe must not have got the memo.
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Post#34 Re: Are Players Averaging Less PPG Nowadays?
Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:01 pm by Doctor MJ

VC-INJURY wrote:Check out the top 10 year-by-year leaders for scoring average and you will see that in the past few seasons particularly in the 6-10 range, guys are making the top 10 averaging less points than those in previous years.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/lea ... op_10.html

Why do you think this is?


Looking at the data I think you overstate the difference. I think it just totally varies depending on the players available and the decisions teams make. The decrease in pace is also a factor.

That said, team strategies do change. Teams used to be far more prone to try to ride their big man to 20+ points per game. Some of what people lament as "the death of the center" is really "the realization that most centers shouldn't shoot that much".

A specific point here is the trend of 3-point shooting and the gradual realization that does NOT mean stars should shoot a lot of 3's but that a fundamental goal of the offense should be to get open 3's for your role players. Role player scoring is now more important than ever, and we should expect that that means star scoring is now LESS important.
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Post#35 Re: Are Players Averaging Less PPG Nowadays?
Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:37 pm by TwentyOne920

Doctor MJ wrote:
VC-INJURY wrote:Check out the top 10 year-by-year leaders for scoring average and you will see that in the past few seasons particularly in the 6-10 range, guys are making the top 10 averaging less points than those in previous years.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/lea ... op_10.html

Why do you think this is?


Looking at the data I think you overstate the difference. I think it just totally varies depending on the players available and the decisions teams make. The decrease in pace is also a factor.

That said, team strategies do change. Teams used to be far more prone to try to ride their big man to 20+ points per game. Some of what people lament as "the death of the center" is really "the realization that most centers shouldn't shoot that much".

A specific point here is the trend of 3-point shooting and the gradual realization that does NOT mean stars should shoot a lot of 3's but that a fundamental goal of the offense should be to get open 3's for your role players. Role player scoring is now more important than ever, and we should expect that that means star scoring is now LESS important.


Yes... most teams stress that the best shot isn't one attempted by a star player but by the open man. Sure, in the playoffs it's less meaningful, but Robert Horry made an entire career out of being open at the right time.
bertrob wrote:Any casual fan saying anything about Tim Duncan is usually wrong


bobly wrote:Kobe locked up his All Defensive Team this year after he blocked Lebron in the all-star game.
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Post#36 Re: Are Players Averaging Less PPG Nowadays?
Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:17 pm by DavidSterned

It's definitely noticeable this year. Look at the single game season high for points right now, it's only 45. Crazy to think that nobody has even come all that close to scoring 50+ yet this year.
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Post#37 Re: Are Players Averaging Less PPG Nowadays?
Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:22 pm by VC-INJURY

I agree with a lot of the points in here (more superteams, change of pace, different era) etc, but I do think it has to do with the quality of players too.

Like some others have said, Guys who were all-stars a decade ago are still holding it down (KG, Duncan, Kobe, Pierce etc) when they really shouldn't be. Something has definitely changed with today's game.

Look at the leaders from the 2002-2003 season:

Points Per Game
1. Tracy McGrady-ORL 32.1
2. Kobe Bryant-LAL 30.0
3. Allen Iverson-PHI 27.6
4. Shaquille O'Neal-LAL 27.5
5. Paul Pierce-BOS 25.9
6. Dirk Nowitzki-DAL 25.1
7. Tim Duncan-SAS 23.3
8. Chris Webber-SAC 23.0
9. Kevin Garnett-MIN 23.0
10. Ray Allen-TOT 22.5
11. Allan Houston-NYK 22.5
12. Stephon Marbury-PHO 22.3
13. Antawn Jamison-GSW 22.2
14. Jalen Rose-CHI 22.1
15. Jamal Mashburn-NOH 21.6
16. Jerry Stackhouse-WAS 21.5
17. Shawn Marion-PHO 21.2
18. Steve Francis-HOU 21.0
19. Glenn Robinson-ATL 20.8
20. Jermaine O'Neal-IND 20.8

Source: http://www.basketball-reference.com/lea ... aders.html

vs leaders from the 2012-2013 season

Points Per Game
1. Kobe Bryant-LAL 29.9
2. Carmelo Anthony-NYK 29.3
3. Kevin Durant-OKC 28.9
4. James Harden-HOU 26.4
5. LeBron James-MIA 26.0
6. Kyrie Irving-CLE 23.0
7. Russell Westbrook-OKC 22.2
8. LaMarcus Aldridge-POR 20.8
9. Stephen Curry-GSW 20.5
10. David Lee-GSW 19.9
11. Paul Pierce-BOS 19.6
12. Tony Parker-SAS 19.5
13. Jrue Holiday-PHI 19.0
14. Monta Ellis-MIL 18.8
15. Brandon Jennings-MIL 18.3
16. O.J. Mayo-DAL 18.3
17. Damian Lillard-POR 18.2
18. Chris Bosh-MIA 17.9
19. Dwight Howard-LAL 17.8
20. Rudy Gay-MEM 17.8

Source: http://www.basketball-reference.com/lea ... aders.html
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Post#38 Re: Are Players Averaging Less PPG Nowadays?
Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:47 pm by tms386

TheKingOfVa360 wrote:
tms386 wrote:
Nice job assembling players from the early 80's all the way to the mid 90's. If you want to use that great of a time period, "today's" top 20 would look just asgood.



He actually didn't do what you're accusing him of but I'm sure you never seen most of those players play. You can easily say that list is for the 94-95 season or 95-96 season it it would be accurate


Right....Draft years of each player. 8 year span here. You just as easily do this today and have a great list. You sure you watched?


1. Michael Jordan-84
2. Shaquille O'Neal-92
3. Hakeem Olajuwon-84
4. David Robinson-89
5. Karl Malone-85
6. Charles Barkley-84
7. John Stockton-84
8. Patrick Ewing-85
9. Scottie Pippen-87
10. Grant Hill (prime)-94
11. Shawn Kemp-89
12. Alonzo Morning-92
13. Penny Hardaway-93
14. Mitch Richmond-88
15. Chris Mullin-85
17. Reggie Miller-87
18. Gary Payton-90
19. Clyde Drexler-83
20. Dikembi Mutumbo-91
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Post#39 Re: Are Players Averaging Less PPG Nowadays?
Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:39 am by TwentyOne920

Henry Abbott suggests that Tom Thibodeau's defensive revolution may have had a key:

http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_ ... nners-gone

It... makes sense, considering that modern defenses are designed for the star to give up the ball and the best way to break a Thibs-style defense is to pass the ball rapidly to the weak side before the defense recovers. So stars are seeing lowered scoring but more assists, and IIRC the scoring is more evenly distributed.

Rules changes like calling rip-through fouls as regular fouls as opposed to shooting fouls have also neutralized that strategy of getting to the line (IIRC Kevin Martin's scoring dropped when that rule was implemented).
bertrob wrote:Any casual fan saying anything about Tim Duncan is usually wrong


bobly wrote:Kobe locked up his All Defensive Team this year after he blocked Lebron in the all-star game.
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Post#40 Re: Are Players Averaging Less PPG Nowadays?
Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:51 am by branny

DavidSterned wrote:It's definitely noticeable this year. Look at the single game season high for points right now, it's only 45. Crazy to think that nobody has even come all that close to scoring 50+ yet this year.

KD just got 52 today if it matters :lol:
NaturalThunder wrote:OKC killing Serge's MVP candidacy...2-0 without Ibaka on the season.
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Post#41 Re: Are Players Averaging Less PPG Nowadays?
Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:16 am by ermocrate

I think is because the overall talent level has dropped dramatically, good players don't have any incetive to get better, that's why Rookies have a better impact at average level, they study the game a lot less in College but also they come into a league with a lower BBall knowledge than the past... Basically all relies on athleticism, this is also why more "schooled" foreing players can contribute a lot more right away and the reason why once a lot of talented USA players used to play over europe and now are not...

Nobody is allowing Bob McAdoo or Sugar Ray Richardson to leave the NBA today...

Sometimes I'm very surprised how average european player become very important in the NBA.


Look at the Olympics Game, the better USA players struggled at times, that was completely out of discussion with the original Dream Team and before the Dream Team an USA team made of College players almost won all the international competitions, today they will be blowed from Switzerland.
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Post#42 Re: Are Players Averaging Less PPG Nowadays?
Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:33 am by tsherkin

Pace, defense catching up to the rules, talent cycle. Maybe, hopefully, a dawning understanding that unless the player is one of the best scorers in the history of the league, volume scoring actually isn't a good strategy, nor a lot of heavy usage of isolation sets without some kind of setup within the offense.

That seems to be as good an explanation as any. Also, the best scorers in the league are mostly playing with other talent right now. Westbrook is chucking up a storm next to Durant, so you don't see him doing what he could in terms of volume... but as both Durant and Brooks would be the first to say, they're first in the league in wins. Can't be a bad thing, then. They're also the best offense in the league and even 8th in pace at 92.6, with a usage split between Westbrook and Durant not terribly dissimilar to Shaq/Kobe, though obviously Westbrook compares to neither.

In any case, they've found a workable formula, so why dick with it for raw volume stats that mean nothing anyway? KD just dropped 52, so it's not like he can't bust out for a big one now and again.

Hell, look at the league after Jordan's 4th title. 96 was the last time he rocked 30+ ppg on a season. The league leaders since then?

Jordan 29.65
Jordan 28.74
Iverson 26.75
Shaq 29.67
Iverson 31.08
Iverson 31.38
McGrady 32.09
McGrady 28.03
Iverson 30.69
Bryant 35.40
Bryant 31.56
Lebron 30.00
Wade 30.20
Durant 30.15
Durant 27.71
Durant 28.03
Bryant 29.67 (so far)

It's basically the same kind of cycle we've been watching for the last 15, 16 years. It's tough to get to 30+ ppg, and it's not always worth it. Wade and Lebron, two guys who have each done it in the last 6 seasons, are playing on the same team. Durant, who has also done it in the last 4 years, is playing alongside another volume shooter.

You'll notice something common about the 30+ ppg seasons, too, it's mostly single-star teams that didn't go anywhere and the player had license to shoot because the roster didn't have the talent requisite for legitimate contention.

It's been 4 seasons since someone scored 30+ ppg on a season; it was 5 after Jordan did it in 96. This isn't anything new. Look back farther, you'll see what I'm talking about. It happened more consistently in the 80s, of course, but you'll see that even then, Alex English rocked 28.37 in 83 to lead the league.

We should remember, too, that before Jordan many people talked about the perils of having a scoring champion on your team if what you wanted to do was contend for titles. Before MJ, Kareem was the only one to ever do that, win a scoring title and a championship in the same season... and the prevailing theory was that big-centric offense was the reason (though obviously efficient offense was a big part of that and MJ was as efficient as a big, or better). Since then? Shaq did it in 2000 and that's it (though "scoring champion" and "30+ ppg" are very much different benchmarks).

Ramble, ramble, but TL;DR, this isn't anything special. It's expected, and even if you don't account for pace, we get runs where the league doesn't have huge volume scorers based on the talent cycle and how difficult it is to maintain 30+ on the season. We still have Kobe, so we'll see what happens at the end of the season, but 17 years in, it's a lot to ask him to shoulder that kind of burden and still have anything left after the RS, another under-appreciated component of volume scoring.
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Post#43 Re: Are Players Averaging Less PPG Nowadays?
Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:40 am by Ito

maybe because alot of today's great players are stuck on deep teams. Also players that would naturally average about 22-24 ppg, are averaging in the 16-18 range because it's a more team oriented game now, Coaches are using their bench more than ever.. I am sure there would be alot of players pushing 30 if every star had their own team and we didnt have all these super teams
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Post#44 Re: Are Players Averaging Less PPG Nowadays?
Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:19 am by RebelWithACause

It has more to do with the lack of talented scorers than those good deep teams.
Only 9 players averaging 20 or more and (even if you look at the first 40 players on the scoring list there are not too many guys playing 2nd or 3rd fiddles that would or could be 20 ppg scorers),
Even if teams were not as deep there are not too many good scorers around anymore.
Talent level in general is not too good outside of the elite.
A lot of those 15 years plus veterans are still considered one of the or the best at their positions (Kobe, Duncan, Nowitzki , Garnett) that also shows you the drop of talent level.

Around 2005 for example you had those surefire 20 ppg scorers as Shaq, Garnett, Duncan, Nowitzki, Wade, LeBron, Carmelo, Kobe, McGrady, Carter, Pierce, Iverson, Arenas, Allen, Stoudemire, Brand
That is 15 guys and not even borderline 20 ppg players included and there were a lot of them back then!

Who are surefire 20 ppg players today?
LeBron, Kobe, Melo, Wade, Durant, Harden, Westbrook, Irving, (Rose when healthy)
8 to 9 players
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