Joe Dumars: NBA Reviewing Whether Games Have Tilted Too Far Toward Offense

When a team scores 140 points in regulation and still loses, well, it’s time to start thinking about changes.Joe Dumars, NBA

Overall, scoring in the NBA has been through the roof over the past few seasons — both for individuals and for teams.

No one is pining for the days of final scores in the mid-80s or even 70s. But you don’t want things to resemble a scripted video game, either. In today’s NBA, the rules simply forbid stellar defense, and now, the league is looking into it.

That comes from NBA executive vice president and head of basketball operations Joe Dumars, one of the top defensive guards in league history as a member of the old “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons.

“It is a topic that we’re monitoring,” Dumars told ESPN, via Tim Bontemps and Kevin Pelton. “We’re diving in right now to make sure that we’re on the right side of this.”

The league removed hand-checking for perimeter defense years ago, and recently implemented a “freedom of movement” rule limiting defense off the ball. Basically, everything favors the offense, particularly players on the perimeter.

No less than Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is among those who have noticed the increase in massive scoring nights — especially when compared to when he first entered the league in 2003.

Yes, there are tons of talented offensive players. That plays a role. But so do the rules.

Nowhere was his displayed like this year’s All-Star Game, in which the East beat the West by a ridiculous 211-186 count.

“This is what a lot of the [regular-season] games are starting to look like too,” James told reporters afterward.

“We wanted to get more pace into the games. We wanted to get more shots. We wanted the game to be more free-flowing. … It’s a deeper dive into a conversation of how we can shore up this game.”

So yes, the NBA is looking into ways to do exactly that, regardless of what it takes.

“Whether the score is 150-151 or whether the score is 100-101, I think what fans really wanna see is incredible competition,” Dumars said.

“‘Man, did you see the game last night? It was incredible.’ If that’s what fans are saying, then that’s a great place for the league to be. What the score is is secondary to that.”

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