There’s a reason the NBA altered its style of play to allow for more scoring.
And last night’s Clippers vs. Suns game in the Western Conference Finals game showed exactly why.
The 84-80 slugfest was reminiscent of the grueling ‘90s and early 2000s-style basketball that had you hoping that at least one team would make a basket down the stretch.
While the game was close, we saw firsthand how incredibly important shot-making is to the league’s product on the court. Down the stretch, the intensity and focus were there, but the skill just wasn’t — and it gave the audience a clunker. From the 10:07 mark of the 4th quarter to the 6:30 mark, the score didn’t change. That’s nearly four minutes of continuous bricks.
The game was a far cry from the epic Game 2 that saw clutch shot-making down the stretch from both squads, which eventually led to Deandre Ayton’s magical game-winning tip dunk.
If you were ever wondering why the game needed to shift toward offense, and why the NBA made all those rule changes in the 2010s, last night was your answer. Both teams shooting below 37 percent on the night isn’t going to make many NBA fans joyful.
I’ve never been one of those guys who has loved the NBA’s fascination with analytics and abandoning all traditional basketball sense, but I did like how it helped increase the shot-making in any given game. So when neither team shoots over 20 percent from three-point range in a game, forgive me if I’m a little taken aback.
Last night was one of those gritty, grind-out-style games that teams need to win to win a championship. The Suns did exactly that, but while the fans in Phoenix breathe a sigh of relief, the rest of the NBA is just looking to move on from watching a three-story house being built by both teams.
There’s a reason the NBA changed because better offense equals better television.
If that wasn’t clear before, it certainly is now.