LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The last time there was a slate of five or more NBA games on the same day, with every team scoring at least 110 points, was more than 32 years ago.
That is, until the opening of the league's so-called bubble amid the coronavirus pandemic — where it already has happened twice.
Scoring numbers are soaring inside the NBA’s bubble, where the restarted season is happening at Walt Disney World. Through Sunday, 15 of the 22 teams inside the bubble were exceeding what had been their scoring averages before the season was suspended on March 11 because of COVID-19.
Games on average have seen nine points more than what had been the norm this season. The number of 3-pointers in each contest — which had been on a record clip when the season got suspended — is up as well. And Indiana’s T.J. Warren, not even a top-50 scorer when the pandemic hit, is leading the bubble in points per game so far, averaging 34.4 and nearly doubling what was his season average.
“T.J. Warren is on a different planet right now,” Pacers guard Victor Oladipo said.
He’s not alone. The bubble is working for just about everybody, or so it seems.
There was a six-game NBA schedule on Feb. 21, 1988, and all the teams playing that night scored at least 110 points. That hadn’t happened, on a day of five or more games, again in the NBA until July 31 — the second day of bubble games. It happened again Saturday.
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle says there might be multiple reasons why the numbers are up, but foremost on the list is that the NBA has created an environment where players are comfortable.