Putting the NBA's scoring explosion in context
We have to account for the outrageous offensive environment
In the last week, we’ve seen NBA superstars post absolutely absurd scoring numbers. Joel Embiid scored 70 points. On the very same night, Karl-Anthony Towns scored 62. A few days later, Luka Doncic put up 73 while at the same time, Devin Booker was scoring 62.
The numbers are getting ridiculous, and the scoring explosion is not limited to individual output. Teams are putting up larger crooked numbers than ever before. In the week spanning Jan. 23-29, teams topped 130 points 25 different times. It happened at least once on six of those seven days, and six times on Thursday, Jan. 25 — which wasn’t even the night that any of those guys went for 60.
And once again this season, NBA teams are scoring more efficiently than ever before. When you look at the list of the best offenses since the ABA-NBA merger (1976-77), the entire top six is comprised of teams from this season. Last season’s Kings check in at No. 7 and then the rest of the top 10 is more teams from this year.
But are those really the best offenses in the history of the league — or are they just playing in the best offensive environment we’ve ever seen? Spoiler alert: It’s almost certainly the latter.