JJ Redick on NBA Scoring: 'I Think Offenses Are Smarter and Defenses Are Dumber'

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistOctober 26, 2018

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 20: JJ Redick #17 of the Philadelphia 76ers celebrates his game winning shot against the Orlando Magic at Wells Fargo Center on October 20, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 76ers won 116-115. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Teams have been lighting up the scoreboard early on in the 2018-19 NBA regular season, and Philadelphia 76ers guard J.J. Redick believes there's a simple explanation. 

"I think offenses are smarter and defenses are dumber," Redick said, according to Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice.

Sometimes the simplest answer can be the best answer.

Heading into Wednesday's action, points were being scored at a historic level. The Associated Press' Tim Reynolds noted teams were averaging 113.4 points per game through the first eight days of the season, the highest mark in nearly half a century. Not only are teams averaging five more field-goal attempts per game, but the league is well on pace to reset three-point records for the seventh consecutive year.

Twenty-nine of the 30 teams were averaging at least 100 points per game at the end of Thursday's slate, with the Memphis Grizzlies (99.5) the lone exception. Also, the Golden State Warriors led the NBA in scoring last season at 113.5 points per game. An astounding 14 squads are currently topping that mark, led by the New Orleans Pelicans at 132.0 points per game.

Clearly, some of these numbers are the product of a small sample size. No team has played in more than five games, so the numbers are bound to drop as the season progresses.

However, per Reynolds, teams are topping the 100-point plateau 88.2 percent of the time.

New Orleans posted an NBA-best 149 points against the Sacramento Kings on Oct. 19, but even in that contest, the losing team put up 129. More notably, the Minnesota Timberwolves dropped 136 against the Dallas Mavericks a day later and also lost.

Warriors superstar Stephen Curry went off for 51 points on Thursday...in three quarters. His big night was highlighted by 23 first-quarter points and 11 three-pointers for the game.

Even by the two-time NBA MVP's standards, that was a ridiculous performance.

Even Redick is getting in on the action. While averaging 12.4 points in his 13-plus-year career, the 34-year-old is averaging a career-high 21.2 points per game through five games.

Teams are scoring at an unprecedented level, win or lose. While Redick kept his take short and sweet, Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry extrapolated further.

"I think guys are just getting more comfortable offensively in their games," Lowry said, per Reynolds. "I think everyone is just expanding, with the centers shooting 3s. I think that just opens the floor up a lot more. A lot more shots are going up, a lot more freedom of movement. It makes it more of an exciting game."

Rule changes and modern coaching philosophies have made the NBA a fast-paced league. It's unclear if teams will be able to keep up their current pace through the course of an 82-game season, but early on, there has been no shortage of action throughout the Association.