Soon to be commissioner, Adam Silver, is pushing for more fan involvement through the box score. The box score is where you find all players statistics and team total statistics throughout the game. The final box score is clearly the most important because it shows the total numbers for that game. It will clearly state why a team won or lost based on which team's statistics were better.
Most players of fantasy basketball want to know how many points their points got based on points, rebounds, assists, steals, etc. Adam Silver clearly knows more and more fans are looking at this box score. Smartly, he is marketing statistics for more fan involvement to the point that he is adding a video feature to the box score that can be found on NBA.com.
This feature has been available to NBA teams for a few years with the help of a company named Synergy. Synergy has made accessing a lot of video based on statistical categories very easy and user friendly. Obviously what an NBA general manager or coach wants to see will vary from what a NBA fan wants to see. Most NBA personnel want to see video on what the team is doing more so than just an individual, even though it’s necessary to breakdown an individual from time to time. Fans want to see what the individual player is doing. Both should want to see the category that can determine if they can be a championship team. That category is points in the paint.
The quickest formula to build a championship team is build a team that can score in the paint and also stop opposing teams from scoring in the paint. There are currently only three teams in the NBA in the top 10 in points in the paint and in the top-10 in opponents' points in the paint. They are the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls. A fairly safe bet has two of those teams in the NBA Finals this year. Not surprisingly two of those teams were in the NBA Finals last year. Of course there are other categories that we could add to building a championship team. However if you’re not trying to figure how to dominate the paint both offensively and defensively, chances are you won’t win a championship.
The category of points in the paint is clearly important enough to be on the box score. I would even argue that it should be at the top of the box score instead of the bottom. It’s the one stat that can determine how dominate a team can be either offensively or defensively or both. Points in the paint are of little importance from a team perspective to fans, but they do remember the dunks and the blocked shots that happen in the paint. You don’t hear about fans sitting around the water cooler talking about how many points the New York Knicks scored in the paint. Or how many points that the Los Angeles Lakers gave up in the paint. They will discuss why the Knicks and the Lakers won’t win a championship this year.
Mike D’Antoni's Knicks were never known for scoring in the paint, and his Lakers are not dominating in the paint this year either. The Lakers are currently 25th in the NBA in points in the paint.
Mike Woodson’s current Knicks are not known for points in the paint either. The Knicks are currently 28th in the NBA in points in the paint.
To D’Antoni's credit, his Phoenix Suns teams did score in the paint thanks to the great Steve Nash. His teams could never stop teams from scoring in the paint. The Lakers are 29th in the NBA in opponents' points in the paint. The Knicks are better at stopping teams from scoring the paint, but they still give 40 points a game in the paint (9th in the NBA). San Antonio is 4th in the NBA in scoring the paint and 10th in the NBA in opponents points in the paint. Miami is 7th in the NBA in scoring in the paint and 4th in the NBA opponent’s points in the paint. Indiana who is currently first in the NBA in opponent’s points in the paint will struggle to beat Miami because they are 26th in the NBA in scoring in the paint. They will simply struggle to get easy baskets against Miami even though they will stay in the game with their defense.
It is very easy to say "dominate the paint and keep teams out of the paint", but it is very hard to do. You need a plan that starts with the GM that puts the right coach and players in the place. You need that coach to have a defensive scheme that keeps teams out of the paint along with players to take pride in keeping their man in front of them. You have to have a shot-blocker to help discourage players from driving at will because this is the NBA. A great NBA player will get to the basket, and you need those players to dominate the paint offensively. Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony are jump shooters. Kobe can’t dominate the paint coming off an injury and Carmelo doesn’t want to dominate the paint. Neither player nor their teams can win a championship if they are not dominating the paint. Just look at the box score.