NBA scoring at highest level in 15 years

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The late 1990s sucked. Not just because Smash Mouth and Rickey Martin had hits — although that did suck — but also because NBA basketball became a dirge.

In the 1980s everybody ran — the Larry Bird Celtics of 1985 played at a faster pace than any team in the NBA this season. The average team scored 110.8 points per game that year. NBA basketball was entertaining.

Then in the mid-1990s a breed of coaches came along — emulating the Detroit Bad Boys teams — that slowed the pace, promoted physical defense to see how many fouls they could get away with, how they could control the game. The result was isolation basketball, lots of pick-and-roll late in the shot clock, and less scoring. The 1994-95 season the last season that he average NBA team scored over 100 points per game.

Until this year.

Bradford Doolittle over at Basketball Prospectus ran the numbers and found that so far this season teams are averaging 100.2 points per game. There are a few reasons — some seven-seconds-or-less teams are pushing the pace, and shooting is just flat out better.

But what matters is that scoring is back up. And that’s a good thing for a league that is, in the end, entertainment.

C.J. McCollum ejected for flagrantly fouling Gordon Hayward (video)

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I’m not sure C.J. McCollum meant to grab Gordon Hayward‘s neck. The 6-foot-8 Hayward elevated, and the 6-foot-4 McCollum just might not have been able to get high enough to make a play on the ball.

But McCollum did grab Hayward’s neck.

It was a dangerous and unnecessary play, especially in the preseason.

Report: Mavericks may be team interested in Larry Sanders

Larry Sanders
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The Dallas Mavericks are looking for a center— desperately at times, they brought JaVale McGee into training camp to get a look. They will start Zaza Pachulia and behind him it’s probably Samuel Dalembert once he gets healthy.

Which is why Dallas may be the team interested in Larry Sanders — Mark Cuban is a guy known for giving second chances in the league. But there have been no talks, yet, reports Tim MacMahon at ESPN.

Larry Sanders has been out of the game since his buyout last February trying to deal with his personal demons and may well not be ready to return. He may never return.

His couple seasons with the Bucks were filled with drama and issues. There was the nightclub brawl left him with an injured thumb in need of a surgery. There were the charges of animal cruelty. There was a five-game drug suspension. There was missed time for personal reasons. There was the 10-game suspension for marijuana use (he failed at least four tests to get there) — then that suspension was extended past the 10 games. In the end, he agreed to a buyout to get space away from the game to deal with his personal issues.

He may or may not be ready to return from that. He may or may not ever be ready. But if he decides to give it a try, NBA teams will be waiting. Maybe Dallas.