One of the biggest reasons that may have increased improved shooting percentages and scoring results was when basketball went to the “breakaway rims” to prevent damage to the rim and the backboards on dunks or attempted dunks’
By keeping the equipment safe and and it also promoted protecting players from injury when dunking or attempting to dunk. By being built so that the rim pulls or breaks away from the backboard on dunks or players grabbing the rim when dunking or attempting to dunk has definitely reached it’s objectives. It also has increased scoring which is a bonus to the game for some players, coaches and fans.
Previously when the basket rim was bolted directly to the backboard so that there was no give to the rim when the ball was dunked or on an attempted dunk. This could result in the rim being separated from the backboard or it could break the glass backboard even though it was plastic safety glass. This could result in having to stop the game and replace the backboard and rim.
This was very time consuming and took a lot of time and effort to get the game going again. It also meant that the facility had to have a replacement backboard and rim available. If not available the game would have to be continued at a new date.
Now at all facilities that have college D-1 basketball games played have to have a extra portable basket and backboard on site so it can just be rolled out and the game continued with little interruption.
The use of the breakaway rims have prevented this damage and possible player injury from happening currently it also has allowed for baskets that has more give to them thus making it much more of a better chance for the ball that hits the rim not bouncing far away from the rim (like the rims attached directly to the backboard did) thus giving it a chance to go in.
When playing high school and college basketball in the 50’s if the ball on shots hit the rim (the farther away you where from the basket when you took a shot) it usually did not get lucky and happen to go in the basket. Any shot that hit the rim and went in was called “LUCKY”. I referred to it as just getting “GARBAGE”.
Now with the breakaway rims there is a lot more GARBAGE gotten on shots that hit the rim. If the ball doesn’t go in and bounces away without a chance to go in when the ball hits the rim today it should be called a “BRICK”.
In college shot 76% for my career from the foul line and when the ball hit the rim it usually was a BRICK. If had played on breakaway rims probably could have shot 90% from the line (by averaging just 1 and a half more foul shots per game) as today even at the age of 80 plus when shooting foul shots if ball hits the rim there is a good chance of 50/50 or better it will go in on a foul shot. Can now make 9 of 10 or 10 of 10 shooting just 2 at a time not 10 in a row.
As a college player never got much GARBAGE, just got BRICKS when foul shots hit the rim. Today, my foul shots stay on the rim with a chance to go in because the breakaway rims have so much more give to them compared to the old bolted on rims.
The only physical act or skill in shooting a basketball is releasing the ball at the same exact time the shooter’s leg are straight be it on from a jump shot, foul shot or skip shot (combination of a one hand set shot and a one hand jump shot).
The other biggest reason besides not having breakaway rims to shoot at as didn’t not get much GARBAGE as a high school or college player was because didn’t get enough legs into my shot so didn’t get the proper arc so as to soften my shot when it hit the bolted to the backboard rim. Today with the combination of the breakaway rim and getting the proper league depth and releasing the ball when my legs are straight can get all kinds of GARBAGE.
Really tough to think that can shoot the ball better today at age 80 plus then could when in my teens and early twenties.
Of the two reasons, breakaway rims or getting enough legs into a shot which is the most important? I would say from my basketball shooting experience it would be not getting enough legs into my shots.