Why are NBA players scoring so many points this season?
The 2022 NBA season is not even halfway through and is heading towards having the most scoring points in any season in NBA history.
Reigning two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokić, who is the first player in NBA history to record 10+ points, 10+ rebounds, and 15+ assists in a game while shooting 100% from the field, has noticed something different this season, and he is not the only one.
Just this week, there was a league-wide trend of NBA players scoring huge single-game numbers; Donovan Mitchell scored a 71-point masterpiece against the Chicago Bulls, the highest total in the NBA in 17 years on Monday. On the same day, Klay Thompson put up 54 points against the Atlanta Hawks, LeBron James slammed 43 on the Charlotte Hornets, and Joel Embiid 42 against the Pelicans.
That’s 34 different players who have scored 40 or more points a total of 91 times after Sunday’s games, and the season is not even halfway through.
“It’s a talented league, and the guys are extremely talented,” Jokić said Thursday night. “I mean, everyone. Everyone. Luka’s game. Mitchell’s game. Giannis had a good game last night. Lauri had a good game today. So the talent around the league is amazing.”
But just where is the magic coming from this season?
The first and most obvious explanation for this situation is quite simply more efficiency. NBA teams are scoring more efficiently than ever before; this current season is en route to the highest offensive rating in the history of the League, by a full 1.3 points. Teams are shooting the highest in 30 years: 47.1 percent from the field so far this season.
The Curry-led adoption of the three has also allowed countless players to have huge scoring nights, with basically every team playing four- or five-out basketball now and building their offense around quality spacing. More space on the court and smaller lineups allow more space for star players to design shots for themselves.