CLEVELAND — The increase around the NBA in scoring this season has been a hot topic among coaches and players.
Commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday he believes the league’s new rules that have led to more offense are going well.
“We had a call with our competition committee last week, which is made up of coaches, GMs, owners, players, officials to discuss just that,” Silver said at a news conference to announce Cleveland as the 2022 All-Star Game host. “And the consensus, or the strong feeling from the group was that the rule changes were happening as we intended.”
The league-wide scoring average of 112.3 would be the highest in a season since 1970-71, when it was 112.4. Of the 30 NBA teams, 19 are averaging 110 points this season; six did so last season.
Silver said the intent of the new rules was to cut down on defensive players clutching and grabbing.
“The question that seems to be coming back from some of the coaches and players is in essence is how much physicality will be allowed on defense,” Silver said. “Everybody’s feeling their way through this a little bit. What we’re hearing is the teams will adjust to wherever we end up, they just want to make sure there is consistency across the league.”
The Cleveland Cavaliers, who at 1-6 are among the teams that have not benefited from the surge in output, do stand to benefit from the city’s awarding of the 2022 All-Star Game.
Silver said there were a number of “passionate” discussions about returning to Cleveland for the festivities, which will take place during the league’s 75th anniversary. Cleveland last hosted the game in 1997 in the same building, Quicken Loans Arena, which was called Gund Arena at the time, when the league honored its Top 50 players.
“This event is so big now,” Silver said. “We have 1,000 members of the media. The festivities are televised, I should say distributed, not just televised, in 250 countries and territories that we need a massive infrastructure in order to do it. Because the conversations were ongoing about potential upgrades in the building we wanted to wait until those discussions were done and obviously successful before we could lock in the day.”
The downtown arena is undergoing a massive renovation. Construction began this year and should be completed by the end of next summer. The arena’s renovations played a major role in the city’s being awarded the game. Silver said hosting the game will have a direct $100 million impact on Cleveland. Hosting the game again was a major goal for the franchise.
“It puts Cleveland on the stage for the whole world to see,” Cavs owner Dan Gilbert said. “It’s great for the region. You can’t measure all the stuff and how important it is for the future growth and reputation for a city like Cleveland that’s clearly on the way back.”
Charlotte will host the game this season, followed by Chicago and Indianapolis.
Information from The Associated Press and ESPN’s Stats & Information was used in this report.
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