Basketball in the NBA: It’s behind the points records

If there is a basketball expert for special climbs, it is Svetislav Pesic. The old fox coach, once European champion with Germany and world champion with Yugoslavia, was surprised by the game in the United States a few years ago. “Every morning you see the NBA results and it’s 129:119 or 122:120. Everyone celebrates it and is happy,” he scolded after a Euroleague game.

Pesic, now 73, says his heart doesn’t warm when he scores so many points: “It’s not real basketball.” Excellent debate clubs are opening up all over the world on what is right or wrong. Some appreciate the spectacle more in America, others rather the purist Euroball. One thing is certain: Pesic wouldn’t like what’s going on in the North American professional league right now.

A few examples from last week as the NBA record fest reached a new level: Dallas archer Luka Doncic scored 60 points against the New York Knicks, erasing Dirk Nowitzki’s record of 53 points with the Mavericks . Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors gave the Hawks 54 points, including ten three-pointers.

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks played such a yo-yo with the Wizards that many of his baskets looked like something out of a ’90s video game: chain dunks, a career-high 55 points. And finally, Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers surprised with a 71-point run against the Chicago Bulls. He even scratched Kobe Bryant’s 81 points against the Raptors in 2006, and inevitably made many think of the surrealism in 100 points of Wilt Chamberlain against the Knicks (1962).

Donovan Mitchell was still harassing like crazy on the field against the Knicks after 50 minutes of play – first during the game, then during the party.

(Photo: Ken Blaze/USA Today Sports)

The NBA delivers those crushing moments almost every night, 14 times this season alone has a player surpassed the 50-point mark – and that’s after less than half the season. It all happened in the early 1960s, but that was when Chamberlain, basketball’s first true giant, dominated the business – he was simply two heads taller than the rest. The league is now entering the new year with a fit of megalomania. Or should we say: with a continuous gasp? Highlight videos are floating around the web, accompanied by almost grotesque statistics, with which the product can be marketed optimally. The only problem is: if everything is historical, then what are records worth?

The NBA has always wanted to be “The Greatest Show on Earth”, the promise has long been kept – at least for fans of sprawling offensive art. But what’s behind it?

Klay Thompson hits ten NBA three-pointers, Donovan Mitchell scores 71

Anyone who does serious research into the causes ends up with terms like “spacing” or “offensive effectiveness.” Room layouts have improved so much in recent years that “no fire” zones have now emerged all over NBA floors. On the pitches, larger than in Europe, the teams use all angles to spread the action. Three-point shooting is booming, with players now shooting from the outside almost twice as often as a decade ago. At the same time, actors also enter the completion zone more often.

Because many franchises can put together rosters with up to five throwing specialists (there are hardly any hard workers among the baskets anymore), defenders have to chase their opponent around every corner. A player with a basketball IQ like Doncic can easily pass his marker with deceptions and dribbles and then finds a bunch of options in front of him: pass to the free teammate, finish with a three-pointer or go through the middle.

“He knows all his options at all times. He can throw, he’s extremely dangerous out there, but he also has power when he goes to the basket,” Dallas’ German export Maxi Kleber says of his teammate with the Mavericks. “Luka creates so many good shots for himself, but also for his colleagues.” Good throws are those that promise high success rates. More and more NBA teams are striving to reach them, harnessing the abilities of their subtle minds and thinking about basketball heliocentrically: the best get the ball, the rest orbit it like planets around the sun, giving more chances of a promising game. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” enthused Mark Cuban of Doncic after his 60-point show. And the Mavs owner has been allowed to watch a Nowitzki from the front row for 21 years.

Doncic himself (once at Real Madrid) keeps saying he finds it relatively easy to score in the NBA. Greek Antetokounmpo said similarly at the start of the season: “Of course the boys are more talented here, but there’s just a lot more space, there are holes everywhere you can squeeze through. ” Last but not least, they are caused by defensive apathy – about that laissez-faire during the NBA regular season, critics of American basketball have long wondered. But it’s also true that the rules allow virtually no hard physical contact, unlike in the 80s and 90s. start of the playoffs.

But the decisive factor is probably the talent of the offensive lines: never has there been such a generation of exceptional talent at the same time. Players like Steph Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant or LeBron James are still productive even at old age. And in the end there are also very banal reasons for the rain of points: Donovan Mitchell simply took advantage of an extra portion of playing time during his gala. He’s had two overtimes and NBA games are already eight minutes longer than games in Europe. Even old Pesic can’t object to that.

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