kendogg wrote:McBubbles wrote:One could argue the 80's was the easiest era to rack up assists due to an extremely high pace and very little 3 point shooting, or rather loads of 2 point shooting. This era has an extremely high pace too yes, but assisting a boatload of 3's would give lower assists totals than assisting an equivalent amount of mid range shots, and give MUCH lower totals than an equivalent amount of assists on shots around the basket. No assist leader has gotten up to 12 assists a game in 26 years, and Lebron last year leading the league with only 10.2 was actually one of the lowest volume assists titles since the merger, tied for 9th lowest out of 44 years available.
Granted, raw APG totals aren't exactly the best measure of passing anyway, but an interesting thing to note nonetheless.
The definition of assist has gotten much looser over the years. A lot of assists are handed out even after the recipient makes dribble moves which NEVER happened in earlier eras. The pace between the 80's and today is about the same, but the floor spacing is MUCH less. The difference between players adopting the 3-pt line during their careers and GROWING UP practicing the shot makes the game COMPLETELY different. Bird didn't get that many assists on kickouts because they simply weren't available like they are today. The paint has never been so empty in any era as today and its not even CLOSE.
Dribbling doesn't negate an assist in the NBA and it has been like that in "earlier eras". It has been like that for decades now.
It's still easier to rack up incredibly high assist totals in the 80s than it is today, hence why the APG leaders in the 80s have higher APG than the ones that play today. That's pretty basic. Lebron James was the only guy who got 10 APG or more last year, so you're basically saying no one who plays basketball any more is actually "good" enough to get 10 APG lol.