Celtics

A Scal Investigation: Is the new NBA ball hurting FG percentage?

Celtics

Shooting percentages are down across the NBA, leading many to wonder whether it's a coincidence or the result of a big change made by the league during the offseason.

The NBA switched its official ball from Spalding to Wilson. Some star players, including Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George, believe that's a reason shooting percentages are down approximately two percent.

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"Not to make an excuse or anything, it's just a different basketball," Paul George said, per Sports Illustrated. "It doesn't have the same touch or softness as the Spalding ball had. You'll see this year, there's going to be a lot of bad misses."

Jayson Tatum is among the game's best scorers but has experienced some serious shooting struggles so far in the 2021-22 campaign. The Boston Celtics star has a 39.5% shooting percentage through 21 games, a huge drop from his 45.9% mark last season.

Former Celtics player and current C's broadcaster Brian Scalabrine took it upon himself to investigate the new Wilson basketball. He shot five 15-footers and five 3-pointers with each ball to see whether there's a real difference between the two.

"This feels significantly better. Better grip. I don't mind it at all," Scalabrine said about the new Wilson basketball. "I don't know what these guys are complaining about. I really like this ball better."

Scal did admit that the Spalding ball, which was from the 2010 NBA Finals, has "been in the attic just chillin.'" Perhaps that skewed the results a bit, but it looks like the new balls shouldn't take all the blame for the poor shooting we've seen through the early part of the season.

 

You can watch Scal's full NBA basketball investigation in the video above.