Luka Doncic: Bigger Court, 3-Second Rule Make NBA Easier to Score in Than Europe

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorFebruary 9, 2019

DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 6:  Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks handles the ball against the Charlotte Hornets on February 6, 2019 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
Glenn James/Getty Images

Dallas Mavericks rookie guard Luka Doncic, who is averaging 20.6 points on 43.2 percent shooting, played three-plus professional seasons for Real Madrid of Liga ACB in Spain before he entered the NBA.

On Friday, he spoke with Spanish network Movistar+ (h/t Alex Madrid of Eurohoops.net for English translation) and explained some differences on the offensive end between Europe and the NBA.

"Here [in the NBA] it's easier to score compared to Europe, of course," Doncic said. "In Europe, the court is smaller, and here there is the three seconds rule. I think it's easier to score here."

An NBA court is 94 feet by 50 feet, while a FIBA (International Basketball Federation) court must be 28 meters by 15 meters (or roughly 92 feet by 49 feet). The NBA's defensive three-second rule was instituted in 2001.

Scoring has risen dramatically in the NBA over the past 15 seasons. In 2003-04, the league average for team points per game was 93.4. This season, every team is posting over 100 points per night, with the league average set at 110.6.

Doncic's ideas are among other reasons the NBA's seen a precipitous scoring rise. Hand-checking has been eliminated. The mid-range jumper is nearly archaic as teams shoot more three-pointers than ever.

The "Seven Seconds or Less" Phoenix Suns from the mid-2000s sped up a game that was painfully slow at the turn of the century. Positionless basketball has opened up the floor, leading to more fluidity and freedom of movement. It's also not as common to see big men run down the shot clock as they back down a defender into the lane before a shot attempt.

All of this leads to far more entertaining basketball than previous years when teams might've struggled just to pass 70 points.


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