The NBA has seen many changes since its beginning in 1946, from the merger with the ABA to the introduction of the three-point line, The NBA has been readjusted not just in its rules but the way the game is played. At one point in time, the NBA was physical; people were battling for the ball in the low post, and the referees actually let them play. Compare that to now there is no type of physical play there is no battling down low. The NBA has changed its playstyle, and it has affected the blueprint for future NBA players.
A New Era
The three point line has significantly become an essential part of the NBA. The three point line has changed the pace and dynamic of the game. In the last nine years, there has been a significant jump in three-point attempts per game. The NBA during the 2017-2018 averaged 29 three-point attempts per game and 22 free throws attempts per game compared to the 2010-2011 season 18 three-points attempts per game and 25 free throws attempts per game. Last season 32 three-point attempts per game. Stephen Curry, a point guard of the Golden State Warriors, can be credited to help make this change. James Harden alone took 1,026 threes last season and averaged 13 threes per game that is less than half the NBA average. The NBA has averaged 100 plus points per game over the previous 6 seasons but compared to last season there is a five-point increase.
The pace changed a great amount last season there were about 100 possessions per game. It has been said that the NBA is soft because anything can be deemed as a foul. The NBA last season averaged 21 personal foul calls per game.
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The NBA changing the way it plays has a significant effect on the current players and upcoming players. Teams still looking for the conventional player in each person, making sure the point guard has amazing playmaking ability or the center can bully opposing players when need be. The one quality that can make or break a future in the NBA is the player’s ability to shoot. Even centers are making that a part of there game, players like Joel Embiid, Karl Anthony Towns and Demarcus Cousins have added the three-point shot to their repertoire. Combining the three-point shot to their skillset has made those players best in their position. Shooting has become a significant part of the game that it can be a problem if you do not have that in your skillset. Players like Ben Simmons and Giannis Antetokounmpo who are not good shooters still dominate the game with their freakish frames.
Being able to shoot has become a significant part when the new class of NBA rookies comes into the league. If you do not have that knockdown ability, then players have to develop that to play at that level. Two prime examples are Trevon Duval and Markelle Fultz. Trevon Duval was the number one ranked point guard in the class of 2017 was projected to be a top pick in that year’s draft, but he could not really shoot well, and his game was once compared to that of Kyrie Irving and Derrick Rose. Now Duval is in the G-League trying to get to the NBA stage. Markelle Fultz the number one draft pick in the 2017 NBA draft has had a rough start to his NBA career he got a rare shoulder injury that has impacted his ability to shoot and has not seen an NBA game since that injury, and he is looking to make a return.
Future NBA prospects are starting to get more media attention as everyone is paying attention to how these players are playing at each level. Scouts are paying attention to how their game grows, matures, and how they can adapt to the changing NBA.