A decline in shooting percentages has the NBA considering a ban on three-point baskets until the final five minutes of regulation.
The league might test the ban in the National Basketball Development League, according to Stu Jackson, NBA senior vice president of basketball operations. The NBDL season opens Nov. 19.
"We're planning on collecting data and doing some analysis," Jackson said in a phone interview. "We just want some information. The NBDL is our own self-made laboratory for the game. It gives us an opportunity to analyze the game in a way that we have never had before."
For some time, NBA executives have fretted about a decline in scoring and the plodding pace of many games. Presumably to give offenses a boost, referees were instructed last week to call more fouls in the upcoming season when an offensive player's progress is impeded by a defender's forearm and to call fewer offensive charges.
Jackson was quick to point out that there is no marked dip in three-point shooting percentages. NBA teams shot a combined 34.7 percent from beyond the three-point line last season.
But Jackson acknowledged that NBA players are taking more shots than in earlier seasons from behind the three-point line, which was introduced in 1979. That means they are taking fewer shots from nearer the basket and the NBA is interested in finding out what would happen if the trend is reversed.
"We want to know what the impacts would be if they took more [medium-range] shots," Jackson said. "We want to know what would happen to offensive strategies and, yes, what would happen to field goal percentages."
-- Greg Sandoval