Rick Carlisle was asked to theorize why offense has been up around the NBA this season.

The NBA has reached a point where the game has evolved to include more perimeter shooters and a faster pace of play following rule changes.

"My belief is that we've entered a new era of high skill level Sixteen years ago, when I first came into the league, they had just changed the rules," said Carlisle. "You could have two guys guarding a guy that didn't have the ball. You could play zone defense as long as you stayed within the rules, stuff like that.

"And everybody was worried about what was gonna happen to scoring. And the group that put it together, led by Jerry Colangelo, really felt that these rules would increase ball movement and if there was a necessity to move the ball, it would become a greater necessity for all players on the floor to have skill. Otherwise, it would be difficult to hide guys that couldn't shoot. 

"And so, initially there were a lot of skeptics that believes, 'Hey, this is gonna bring the game to a screeching halt. There just aren't enough skill guys.'

"But the reason it was done was to change the culture of player development at the grassroots level. And so, the people coaching grade school, middle school, AAU would have to recognize the importance of being able to shoot, being able to get the ball in the basket. And again, there were a lot of people - there was a lot of eye rolling and 'Yea, right! That's gonna change!'

"Well, it's changed. It's taken time, but how many teams have got a guy at the 4 that can't make an outside shot? I'm not necessarily saying a 3, but an outside shot. You look at the teams that can play big. (derrick) Favors makes mid-range shots. Who else? These guys, (Taj) Gibson can shoot mid-range shots. He's taken a few 3s.

"You know, so anyway, I think that's your answer. If you have more skilled guys and there's a big emphasis on the analytics of pace, scoring's gonna go up. Scoring's gonna go up. So, I don't know what you're gonna hear people clamoring for next. But in the end, what you're gonna get, in my estimation - the Finals last year, the deciding game of the Finals was in the high 80s, low 90s. And so, when it counts, and you get in situations where you're at seven games, and there's familiarity, and you've got the best offensive and defensive teams out there, scoring's not gonna be going crazy."