Mitchell, Doncic, Embiid... a wealth of talent, a deluge of points

Like the 71 points scored by Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell against Chicago on Monday, high-flying individual performances are currently on the rise in the NBA, a phenomenon largely due to an abundance of talent never seen in the top league.

Mitchell, Doncic, Embiid... a wealth of talent, a deluge of points

Like the 71 points scored by Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell against Chicago on Monday, high-flying individual performances are currently on the rise in the NBA, a phenomenon largely due to an abundance of talent never seen in the top league. of the world.

• To read also: NBA: Zion Williamson back on the floor

• Read also: NBA: Who can stop Luka Doncic?

It is a historic evening experienced by Mitchell, who has already left his mark on his passage to the "Cavs", for his first season in Ohio where only LeBron James and, to a lesser degree, Kyrie Irving have the status of untouchables, since the title of champion won in 2016.

His total, a new franchise record, sees the former Utah fullback join five other players who have scored 71 or more points in a game: Wilt Chamberlain (100), Kobe Bryant (81), David Thompson (73) , Elgin Baylor and David Robinson (71).

This matched sixth best mark in history (Chamberlain also managed matches with 72 and 78 points) constitutes for the time being the peak of the current exercise, but nothing says that it will not be beaten, both the exploits of this type are currently legion.

Last week, Luka Doncic (Dallas) passed 60 points to the Knicks, adorning his work with an exceptional triple-double with 21 rebounds and 10 assists. And like the American (22/34 on shots), the Slovenian prodigy (21/31) showed remarkable skill in his third game of the season with at least 50 units. Before them, Joel Embiid (Philadelphia) had scored 59 points against Utah, also showing skill (19/28)...

“Physical technique”

Almost halfway through the season, there have already been 14 games of 50 or more points, the last dating to Tuesday night with Giannis Antetokounmpo's 55 units in Milwaukee's victory over Washington, the two-time MVP (2019, 2020) beating at the same time his personal record.

For former player and coach Jacques Monclar, consultant for BeIn Sports, "it would be too simplistic" to explain this orgy of points "by the chronic absence of defense among opposing teams".

“Even if at times they are indeed very conciliatory, we have seen worse in the past. Certainly the 1980s are symbolized by the harshness of Homeric fights, but there was also such a difference between the teams that some did not defend at all. Ditto in the 1990s, even the 2000s, ”he recalls.

Other factors are to be preferred according to him, starting with the physical parameter.

“We are at a point in the season when the veterans, the seasoned players are in great shape. In current basketball where there are a lot of races, round trips, their cardio level is impressive, ”observes Jacques Monclar.

“Then there is their ability to bring their technique up to physical level. That's what Kevin Durant, Donovan Mitchell and Luka Doncic manage to do night after night. We can talk about the defense... but the quality of the baskets they score shows that the exercise remains both difficult and perilous, this should not be trivialized”.

Ability to repeat feats

"The quality of a star today is judged by his ability to be able to repeat them, not to be able to do them," he says.

However, there are more of them than ever to be able to enter this category in the NBA, in the wake of unrepentant scorers, the Kevin Durant (Brooklyn), Stephen Curry (Golden State), Damian Lillard (Portland), Joel Embiid, Anthony Davis, Lebron James (Lakers), Jayson Tatum (Boston) and others Devin Booker (Phoenix)...

"Ja Morant (Memphis), Anthony Edwards (Minnesota), Jordan Clarkson (Utah), Trae Young (Atlanta) or even Klay Thompson (Golden State) can also 'plant' 50 or 60. It's become a bit crazy" , lists Jacques Monclar.

So many players who know how to take advantage of any attack in force in the NBA, where many teams play at a very high tempo. This translates into increased possessions and shooting possibilities.

“The intensity they put on the court is impressive. But the quality of work, of training, of workforce management also promotes these individual performances,” says Jacques Monclar.

“The NBA also feels that the players have more and more talent, which is why it is asking for stricter compliance with the rules, such as walking or carrying the ball. Because without that, at the speed they are going, with the power that is theirs, the defenses no longer have a chance, ”he concludes.

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