Kyle Kuzma's Theories for Why Scoring Is Down in the NBA; It's Not Just the Ball

Kuzma's theories for why scoring is down in the NBA originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

WASHINGTON -- By now you have heard that offense is down across the NBA. Games are averaging 6.6 fewer points per game. The average field goal percentage has dropped from 46.6% to 44.7% and from three it has fallen from 36.7% to 34.2%.

Clippers star Paul George has pointed out the league's change from Spalding to Wilson as its official ball, a take many players seem to agree with. Wizards players gave their thoughts on adjusting to a new ball entering the season.

After Wednesday's shootaround, Kyle Kuzma gave his detailed thoughts on the matter and began by acknowledging the new ball. But he also offered a different theory that also deals with an adjustment the league made.

While plenty has been said about the NBA's new way of enforcing foul calls, all in an attempt to eliminate non-basketball moves, he sees that as having an underrated domino effect.

"I think from a shooting numbers standpoint, I definitely think the rules change with fouls [is part of it]. This is thinking from a nuanced standpoint, but obviously points are down because guys aren’t getting to the line. You aren’t seeing the big numbers," he said. 

"A lot of times great players, they want to get to the free-throw line for a rhythm, for touch. Guys aren’t getting there and that’s not really allowing them to get that rhythm, to see the ball go through the rim. I think it’s a bunch of things maybe, but that could probably be the biggest thing I can see."

The NBA is averaging fewer free throws per game this season than ever before in its 75-year history as a league. Each team on average shoots 20 per game. Though that is only 1.8 fewer free throws per game per team, compare that to just two years ago when it was 23.1 on average. That means per game there are 6.2 fewer free throws between two opponents than there were in the 2019-20 season.

Perhaps it is a combination of the two, but Kuzma seems to have offered a theory that isn't getting as much attention as the Wilson basketball.

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