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Nuggets coach Michael Malone disagrees on Wilson ball’s connection in low offensive rate this season

Image courtesy: Sarah Stier/Getty Images

As the season progresses, some notable players have spoken about their usage on the newest basketball of the league — the Wilson ball. There are ones who complained and shared their difficulties in palming and feeling the surface of the ball which affects their offensive productivity — perhaps finding things new after being used to the Spalding brand from the previous years. 

But, Denver Nuggets lead tactician, Michael Malone, is not convinced of these claims by the cagers. In fact, he just provided a plain, simple reminder and suggestion to curb out the said issues. 

Speaking in front of the media ahead of the Nuggets’ road trip square-off against the Phoenix Suns, Malone said that the Wilson ball is just a “round” one and has to be putted in the hole for a simple way to score — an uncomplicated tip coming from the 50-year-old mentor. 

As per Basketball-Reference.com statistics earlier this month, the NBA’s average offensive rating has dropped more than six points this 2021-2022 campaign (106.2) compared to last season (112.3) — the lowest since the 2014-2015 season. 

Maybe the brand-new ball has a connection, but the factor that seems to be the reason for the low offensive rate is the new league foul rules, as stars Trae Young and James Harden expressed their frustration about not gaining many free throws and starting up slow earlier this season.

“I don’t want to get fined too much, but it’s frustrating. There’s a lot of missed calls. It’s basketball. It’s just, it feels that they’re learning, and they’re just — I don’t know. It’s frustrating. … There’s a lot of things that, when guys are driving straight and guys are getting knocked off balance — it’s still a foul, whether they’re using their lower body or their hands.”

– Trae Young

“I’m not the type to complain about it. I just ask every official [if] they see a foul just call a foul. Sometimes I feel like coming into a game it’s already pre-determined or I already have that stigma of getting foul calls, but I just ask for officials to just call what they see.”

– James Harden

The thing is there are tons of reasons to blame for the plummeting numbers. But, the important thing remains standing: the physicality is on and the phantom calls are slowly disappearing. 

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