NBA 2022-23 at Mid-Season – Where are all these points coming from?

With the completion of Tuesday’s seven-game slate, the NBA reached the mid-point of its 2022-23 campaign – 617 of its 1,230 scheduled tip-offs are “in the books.”

While the Golden State Warriors have faced their share of struggles (both literal and figurative) in quest of a repeat championship, they are half-way to accomplishing something else that I believe to be unprecedented in Association Annals.

Through 41 games, the Dubs have registered more successful three-point field goals (662) than on-target free throws (655) … GSW gets a whopping 41.5 percent of its scoring (1,994 of 4,783 points) from behind the arc, No. 1 in the circuit.

The Next Four

Bos, .392 (1,902 of 4,848 points)

Dal, .392 (1,839 of 4,710 points)

Ind, .373 (1,767 of 4,741 points)

Utah, .368 (1,905 of 5,171 points)

In a similar vein, there’s only one team getting OVER HALF of its point production from one area – namely THE PAINT. Ja Morant and his Memphis Grizzlies 1,167 on-target FG’s launched from Hubie Brown’s infamous “painted area” represent 50.5 percent of their season’s point production. (A mere four squads – the Mavs, Clippers, Dubs, and C’s – get less than 40 percent of their scoring from the Paint.)

The Cream of this Crop

Mem, .505 (2,352 of 4,654 points)

San Antonio .488 (2,244 of 4,594 points)

LAL, .485 (2,320 of 4,783 points)

Char, .482 (2,272 of 4,709 points)

OKC, (2,278 of 4,770 points).

When it comes to the “Mid-Range,” would you be shocked to learn that DeMar DeRozan’s team tops the charts – albeit by scoring about one of every seven points (.143) from the Great “Betwixt and Between” (just 670 of its 4,701 points). More than 80 percent of the league generates less than 10 percent of its offense from the Mid-Range.

The Next Four

Bro, .136 (624 of 4,583 points)

Atl, .121 (560 of 4,610 points)

Phoe, .108 (514 of 4,747 points)

LAC, .102 (480 of 4,697 points)

This leaves us with Free Throw shooting as the final source of scoring … interestingly, the aspect of scoring most directly impacted by officiating has the least variance of all four categories. The “top” team gets 18.9 percent of its scoring from the charity stripe, the “bottom” team (Golden State, not quite so ironically) 13.7 percent.

The Cream of that Crop

Det, .189 (928 of 4,921 points)

Tor, .179 (821 of 4,579 points)

Hou, .178 (778 of 4,363 points)

Dal, .178 (837 of 4,710 points)

NO .176 (848 of 4,815 points)


Abacus Revelation for the Road

I think it was 50 seasons ago when the cover photo of the Sports Illustrated NBA preview issue showed Gus Johnson and Dave DeBusschere grimacing and exchanging elbows while battling for a rebound, dubbing the clash “The Classic Confrontation” … and indeed it was.

Dave Cowens going mano-a-mano with Bob McAdoo in his Buffalo days was a duel well worth the price of admission.

This era’s preferred style of play – spread the court, drive-and-dish, switch everything – seems to have inhibited the emergence of such entertaining individual match-ups that once were so common.

Of course, it could also be true that I’m just an out-of-touch Old Fart !!!