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66Re: Assist Anomaly of 1956-57

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  • Dean Oliver
    Apr 11, 2001
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      --- In APBR_analysis@y..., msg_53@h... wrote:
      > Something I have noticed in the compiling of stats: the NBA
      > experienced a sharp reduction in assisted field goals between the
      '56
      > and '57 seasons. My question is, did the league feel they had been
      > awarding assists too liberally, and suddenly tighten the
      > interpretation of what constitutes an assist? or, did teams

      Well, I frankly looked and couldn't find an obvious rule change that
      year and I couldn't find anyone who knew of a scoring change. The
      NBA Encyclopedia seems to point out the presence of Russell being
      important all of a sudden -- noting that it completely decimated the
      career of Neil Johnston (though the stats aren't convincing).

      Shooting percentages came down in '57. FT% did go up, though. FTA
      went up, FGA went up, Reb went up. Every team but St Louis had their
      team FG% go down. Boston's FG% went down. I'm wondering if teams
      started running more to avoid the Bill Russell type of shot blocker.
      It was only the 3rd season of the clock -- I wonder if this is some
      delayed effect.

      Weird.

      > Consequently, I ascribe about half of the 56/57 assist anomaly
      to
      > personnel disruption, and the other half to some reinterpretation
      of
      > the rules.

      Seems fair.
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