Scoring is up across the NBA this season, and according to Commissioner Adam Silver, the credit for the added offense should go to rule changes made in the offseason.

NBA scoring Adam Silver
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry drives past Chicago Bulls defenders during their regular season NBA game on Oct. 29, 2018. (Image: Kamil Krzaczynski/AP)

Right now, teams are scoring an average of 112.3 points per game. If that number holds, it will be the highest scoring year since 1970-71, when the league compiled a scoring average of 112.4 points.

Defenses Still Adjusting to New Rules

Perhaps the biggest impact has come from a re-emphasis on calling holding that takes place off the ball. By eliminating clutching and grabbing, skilled offensive players have more freedom of movement. That makes for a more aesthetically pleasing game to many, but also makes playing defense more challenging.

The question that seems to be coming back from some of the coaches and players is in essence how much physicality will be allowed on defense, Silver told reporters at a news conference on Thursday. Everybodys feeling their way through this a little bit. What were hearing is the teams will adjust to wherever we end up, they just want to make sure there is consistency across the league.

Along with that point of emphasis, a few other minor changes were also expected to boost scoring. The shot clock now only resets to 14 seconds after an offensive rebound, a move that creates a few more possessions per game. The rules for clear-path fouls were also broadened, which should result in more transition scoring and more harshly punish defenses that try to artificially slow down opponents on a fast break.

All together, these changes were expected to promote scoring, and they appear to be working as expected.

We had a call with our competition committee last week, which is made up of coaches, GMs, owners, players, officials to discuss just that, Silver said. And the consensus, or the strong feeling from the group, was that the rule changes were happening as we intended.

Season Shaping Up to Be Among Highest-Scoring Ever

Scoring has increased in the NBA in each of the past three seasons. Teams averaged exactly 100 points a game in the 2014-15 campaign, and that had risen to 106.3 by last year. That means teams are up about another six points per game so far this year, a massive increase the likes of which the NBA has rarely seen.

The all-time scoring record came in 1961-62, when teams averaged 118.8 points per game. At the current pace, this season could end up as one of the top ten scoring years in league history.

Conversely, most of the lowest-scoring years in league history came in the early years of the 1940s and 1950s, before the NBA introduced the shot clock. The lowest-scoring modern season game in 1998-99, when teams averaged a paltry 91.6 points per contest.

While Silvers remarks on scoring garnered plenty of headlines, they werent actually the focus of his press conference. Silver also announced to reporters that Cleveland would be serving as the host of the 2022 All-Star Game, which will take place in the leagues 75th anniversary season.

It puts Cleveland on the stage for the whole world to see, said Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. Its great for the region. You cant measure all the stuff and how important it is for the future growth and reputation for a city like Cleveland thats clearly on the way back.