NBA shootout like Kings-Clippers 351 points will not help the NBA
The NBA continues to follow the path they’ve been on, where people think more goals means more attention to the product. On Friday night, the Kings and Clippers combined to score 351 points. LeBron James’ All-Star team scored 175 points last weekend, and the Kings and Clippers both achieved that (Sacramento won 176-175) on Friday. For all the points we got in today’s game, conventional wisdom suggests this is what the fans want. Then you look at the ratings and this doesn’t have to be the case.
This year’s NBA All-Star Game in Salt Lake City make a record low IN ratings and viewership. The final score was 184-175 in favor of the victory of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s team. Players are taking “it’s a hit or miss tournament” quite literally because the game is nothing more than shooting around.
In the All-Star game, very little defense is played, if any, until the last few minutes of the match. This Sacramento-Los Angeles “thriller” rivaled that as both teams shot 58 percent farther and the Clippers, which led for most of the game, shot more than 60 percent. The Kings hit nearly 44% from the three-point range, while the Clippers hit nearly 58% from behind the arc.
Now, the defense in this game is better than ASG, but not by much. Russell Westbrook
made his debut with his new LA team, and while he scored a brace (17 points, 14 assists), there were many times when he pretended to be interested in helping out defensively. Like most NBA games of this era, there have been too many times a player has been allowed to hit the basket without being blocked by the defense.
Too much is enough
We know the NBA doesn’t want to go back to the low scoring record of the 1990s, but there can be a happy medium. No one wants to see clunker players 81-76, but both teams scoring over 170 points is ridiculous. This match went into double injury time before the Kings could win, with both teams having 153 points at the end of allotted time.
Yes, they shoot a lot of triples now, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to make an effort at both ends of the floor. Most revenue doesn’t come from locked-in defensive players. They come from lazy passes, mistakes, with defenceers donated many thefts. With all shots taken, each team ends the game with three blocks. Sacramento scored 88 points in the paint. So there are plenty of opportunities to play solid defensively inside for LA. Obviously the Clippers couldn’t be bothered.
No matter how you look at it, too many points are not good for the association. At its core, basketball is about competition and it’s something people pay to watch. There shouldn’t be about 10 players on the court making open jumps for 48 (or more) minutes. People say this is what they want, but we have this same discussion about NBA ratings/viewership drops every season. This conversation is becoming more and more relevant since the game is nothing more than a glorified contest of skill.