1-800-524-4250

Articles

Get the best handicapping articles and gambling advice throughout the football, basketball and baseball seasons from the world's top sports handicappers, as well as from Bovada (Bodog) Sportsbook and Casino.

NBA UPDATE

   by Larry Ness - 01/13/2005

NBA scoring hit rock-bottom in the 50-game strike season of 1998-99. That season, the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs were the only team to average better than 100 points in a game, with an average of 100.2! The league average was a shot-clock era low of 91.6 PPG....

While the next few seasons didn't exactly remind anyone of Magic's Lakers and their "Showtime" style, scoring was up. That is, until last year. For the 2003-04 regular season, just two teams averaged more than 100 points, the Mavericks at 105.2 PPG and the Kings at 102.8 PPG....

Defensively, as many as NINE teams allowed less than 90 points per game! AMAZINGLY, the Spurs and Pistons each allowed EXACTLY 6,909 points over their 82-game seasons, to lead the league with an average of 84.3 PPG allowed! Just two teams, the Mavericks (100.8) and the Magic (101.1), allowed more than 100 points per game! The league average for points scored per game finished at 93.4, the lowest since that 1998-99 season. Then came last year's postseason!...

We should have known we were in for some 'UGLY' games when the league's two highest-scoring teams (Mavs and Kings) opened their first round series by scoring 221 points in the first game (116-105) but then followed that game by scoring 59 points less in Game 2 (83-79)!...

Other first round 'ATROCITIES' were a 72-71 Game 1 win by the Lakers over the Rockets, the Hornets' Game 2 63-point 'outburst' against the Heat plus those same two teams playing a 77-71 contest the very next game. Miami won that series in seven games while holding the Hornets to a total of 564 points (80.6 PPG)! The 564 points scored by New Orleans in the series, marked the second-fewest points ever scored by any NBA team in a seven-game series!...

The scoring, or rather the lack of it, didn't end in the first round! In the semifinals of the East, Indiana beat Miami in six games, the clincher coming on a 73-70 Indiana win. The Pistons and Knicks went seven games, averaging just 157.2 PPG, if you excluded the Nets' Game 5 win in three-overtimes! New Jersey connected on just 202 field goals that series, the fewest-ever in a seven-game NBA playoff series!...

In the West, the Lakers and Spurs were tied at 2 games each, when the Lakers beat the Spurs 74-73 at San Antonio in Game 5. In the Minnesota-Sacramento series, the Kings 104-point effort in their Game 6 win, was the only time either team topped 87 points in ANY of that series' final four games!...

The Eastern Conference Finals between Indiana and Detroit should have been 'STOPPED'! In a series that went six games, the loser was held to less than 70 points for the game, FOUR times! In the end, Indiana scored a total of just 436 points (72.7 PPG), the lowest point total-ever for a six-game series. As for the series-winning Pistons, their total of 451 points (75.2 PPG), was the second-fewest point total for a team involved in a six-game series!...

I've set this stage because OUT OF NOWHERE and with surely NO WARNING, comes the 2004-05 NBA season. As the group Buffalo Springfield once opined, "Something's happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear"....

Led by the Phoenix Suns and their average of 110 PPG (thru Jan 12), EIGHT teams are averaging at least 100 points per game! To find the last time in which that many teams averaged 100 PPG, one would have to go back to the 1995-96 season! That year, 13 teams averaged at least 100 PPG, with the Bulls leading the way at 105.2....

One would have to go back one more year (to the 1994-95 season) when 16 of the 27 teams averaged more than 100 PPG, to find a team that averaged as many as 110 PPG! Three teams did it that season, led by Orlando's 110.9! Looking a little deeper, scoring is up all around in the NBA this year. While FIVE teams averaged less than 90 PPG last year, just TWO (New Orleans at 86.4 and New Jersey at 86.2), are doing so this year....

Defensively, two teams allowed 100 PPG last year and that number has barely changed this year, as just three teams are allowing that many points per game through January 12. Interestingly, all three of those teams (Orlando at 110.8, Boston at 100.5 and Washington at 100.2), are also scoring more than 100 PPG!...

Again, look a little deeper and you'll find that while NINE teams allowed less than 90 PPG last season, but just TWO are doing so this season. Not surprisingly, those two teams are last year's defensive co-champs, the Spurs (85.7) and the Pistons (89.1)....

I'm not sure WHY scoring is up but let's be grateful! In next week's NBA Update, I'll look at some of this year's most surprising and most disappointing teams....

Friday, it's my NFL Divisional Round preview....

Bet on Sports-Join MyBookie.ag today!
Bet on Sports-Join MyBookie.ag today!
Predictem Free Sports Predictions

Follow BigAl on Twitter

Visit BigAl on Facebook

Football odds at Bovada (Bodog)
Pro football betting at Bovada (Bodog) Sportsbook!