In this thread, the point was made that a gaggle of great scoring years from perimeter players which some posters tagged as being attributable to the change in interpretation in the hand-check rules (although the rule itself changed earlier).
How possible do posters think it is to adjust for rule changes and rule interpretations in a systematic way?
For instance... in the period 99-2001, Zone Defence rules were relaxed, then effectively abandoned.
A quick look at the data appears to indicate that by 2001-2002:
3PA up by 84 (from 1999-2000 figures)
FTA down by 120
ORB down by 15 (after being 35 down in 2000-2001)
DRB down by 27
AST down by 34
TOV down by 170
Fouls down by 91 (don't know how many of these would have been for illegal defence)
Although I won't bother to post them here, there also seems to have been a significant correction in these final from the often more extreme numbers in the intervening year.
Given this, how comparable are the figures:
a) between years where rule changes have led to a signficant statistical change?
b) between years which reflect that NBA players and coaches have adapted to new rule changes?
c) between years containing multiple substantial rule changes (the 80s vs 00s argument)?
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