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Have NBA games become a "shooting contest" and "layup line"?

 "Exhibit A" in my argument is the score following ther 2023 NBA All-Star game. A score of 184-175? Who won? Who cares? Even one of the participants (Jaylen Brown) termed the "contest" a "glorified layup line". The game was almost devoid of defense.

But beyond the shooting display of the All-Star contest, the League itself has become a "shooting contest". The 3-point shot reigns supreme. We must never forget that the long ball was an invention of the ABL - and then the ABA - as an exciting gimmick to get fans out of their seats, along with a red, white and blue ball and a slam dunk contest.

Admittedly, the 3-pointer has its place in the NBA game, but it may be time to tone it down a bit. All-but-gone are the "specialists" - players that thrived on rebounding, defense and playmaking. Where are the like of K C Jones, Rajon Rondo, Ben Wallace, Dennis Rodman - and yes - Bill Russell.

Russell may have averaged 16.2 points per game for his career, but he could not shoot from any distance. Layups, put-backs, lobs and short-distance hook shots were what he did. Even then, he only averaged 43% from the field and 60% from the free throw line. 

I am not entertained by the 3-pointer - except as a means for a team to execute a comeback from a large deficit - or as a last-second "hail Mary" when trailing by two points. By the way, I am not enthralled by the slam dunk contest either, but that is another argument. And the red, white and blue ball? Out of the question!




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