The National Basketball Association is reportedly looking to simplify the fantasy basketball experience.
On Thursday, Kieran Darcy of ESPN.com reported the NBA has adopted an official fantasy scoring system as the 2017-18 campaign approaches. The six-category system awards one point for a point, 1.2 points for a rebound, 1.5 points for an assist, three points for a steal, three points for a block and minus-one for a turnover.
"We've seen all the data that shows how engaged fantasy players are, and how much live basketball they watch," NBA associate vice president of fantasy sports Scott Kaufman-Ross said, per Darcy. "Because of that, we've been looking for ways to make fantasy a bigger part of basketball culture and make fantasy basketball a bigger part of the basketball conversation."
Kaufman-Ross stressed the need for simplicity because most increased participation would come from casual fans working under the assumption hardcore fans are already playing fantasy basketball. The simplicity idea is why something such as field-goal percentage to measure offensive efficiency wasn't included in the categories.
Simplicity also factored into the scheduling, as the slate is marked in weeks, a la the NFL.
The decimals for rebounds and assists were in an effort to prevent ties, and Darcy's report noted every one of the NBA's official fantasy partners will use the system in 2017-18.
The changes give fantasy players something to think about, especially as totals such as offensive efficiency aren't factored into wins and losses. Players such as Russell Westbrook, who stuffs the stat sheet on a nightly basis but isn't always the most efficient as a 43.3 percent career shooter from the field and 31.3 percent three-point shooter, will likely be even more valuable.
What's more, the three points for steals and blocks stand out and place additional emphasis on two-way playmakers like Kawhi Leonard who promise to tally a number of defensive plays to go with their points.
Fantasy players won't have long to grow accustomed to the new scoring system with the season set to start Tuesday, Oct. 17.