Tag Archives: LeBron James

Today’s Sportstat: March 23, 2020

Truth or fiction? LeBron James is leading the NBA in assists

One of the more interesting storylines in the NBA this season has been LeBron James and his assist numbers. Yes, that is LeBron James leading the NBA in assists per game, 10.6, and most assists this season with 636.

To put this in perspective, James has never led the league in assists during his 17-year career, however, he has seen his name in the Top 10 in several seasons. His 10.6 assists per game this year is the highest of his career (his previous high was 9.1 assists per game in 2017-18) and his 636 assists this season is 111 shy of his career mark of 747 in 2017-18, but if the NBA season had not been put on hold due to COVID-19 there’s a good chance he would have exceeded that number this season.

Let’s not forget that James is doing all this at the age of 35 (he turned 35 on December 30).

Let’s dig a little deeper into James’ assists numbers for this season.

  • If he ends this season with 10 or more assists per game, he will become only the second player in NBA history to average 10 or more assists in a season at age 35 or older. The other player is Steve Nash who averaged 11.0 assists per game at age 35, 11.4 at age 36 and 10.6 at age 37. The only other player to average 9.0 or more assists in a season at age 35 or older was Jason Kidd in 2009-10 when he averaged 9.1 assists per game at age 36.
  • With 636 assists and 1,344 points this season, James becomes the fourth player in NBA history to have 600 or more assists and 1,000 or more points in the same season at age 35 or older. Lenny Wilkins did it in 1972-73, John Stockton did it in 2001-02, Steve Nash did it twice, in 2009-10 and 2010-11, and James this season.
  • There have been 98 players in league history who have totaled 600 assists and 1,500 points in a season (any age). James and Lenny Wilkens are the only two players on this list to reach these numbers at age 35 or older; both were 35. The youngest on the list is Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks who in his rookie season this year has amassed 653 assists and 1,549 points. He is 20 years old.
  • Oscar Robertson holds the league record for most seasons with 600 assists and 1,500 points in the same season. He did it 10 times in his Hall of Fame career. Gary Payton, Isiah Thomas and Russell Westbrook each had six such seasons and Stephon Marbury had five.
  • The Bucks have had two players reach 600 assists-1,500 points in the same season. Oscar Robertson did it in 1970-71 when he had 668 assists and 1,569 points. The other player was Sam Cassell in 1999-2000; in that season he had 729 assists and 1,506 points.

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Today’s Sportstat: January 14, 2019

Luka Doncic: Have we seen him before?

Back in 1986, there was a very popular song by Suzanne Vega titled “Luka.” The first few lines of the song went like this: “My name is Luka. I live on the second floor. I live upstairs from you. Yes I think you’ve seen me before.”

I mention this because one of the compelling stories from this NBA season has been the play of Dallas Mavericks rookie “wunderkid,” Luka Doncic. The 19-year-old (he won’t turn 20 until February 28) from Slovania, was the third overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Through the first half of this season, Doncic has been putting up some really impressive numbers for a rookie and seems to be the front-runner for this year’s Rookie of the Year Award. With his impressive skill set and overall game, in some circles, it might be said (unlike the song, “Luka,”) that we have not seen someone like him before.

Doncic leads the Mavs (through games of January 13) in points per game (20.2), and is second on the team in minutes played, rebounds per game (6.7) and assists per game (5.0). What makes these numbers all the more impressive is that if Doncic should finish the season with 20 points per game and five rebounds and five assists per game, he would join a very short list of rookies that have achieved these numbers.

Here’s a look at the four rookies in NBA history who averaged 20 points per game and had five rebounds and five assist per game in their rookie campaigns in the league:

Oscar Robertson, 1961, Cincinnati (30.5 points per game, 10.1 rebounds per game, 9.7 assists per game)

Michael Jordan, 1985, Chicago (28.2 points per game, 6.5 rebounds per game, 5.9 assists per game)

LeBron James, 2004, Cleveland (20.9 points per game, 5.5 rebounds per game, 5.9 assists per game)

Tyreke Evans, 2010, Sacramento (20.1 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game, 5.8 assists per game)

Robertson and Jordan are already in the Hall of Fame and James will certainly join them when he hangs up his sneakers. Evans? His name on the list might have surprised more than a few NBA fans.

In addition, Doncic is on pace to total more than 1,600 points in his rookie season. That has happened 39 times in league history. Since 2000, we have seen the following rookies top the 1,600-point mark in their first season: Elton Brand (Chicago-2010), LeBron James (Cleveland-2004), Carmelo Anthony (Denver-2004), Kevin Durant (Seattle-2008), Blake Griffin (L.A. Clippers-2011) and Donovan Mitchell (Utah-2018). Of the 39 rookies who had 1,600 or more points in their rookie campaigns, 21 are currently in the Hall of Fame, with others like James, Anthony, Griffin, Durant and Tim Duncan likely joining that group in the future.

Wilt Chamberlain tops the list of most points scored in a rookie season with 2,707. He is followed by Walt Bellamy (2,495). The Dallas Mavs team record for most points by a rookie is 1,732 held by Jay Vincent in 1982.

It’s still early in Luka Doncic’s career, but he appears headed to that upper echelon of NBA players

 

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Today’s Sports Stats: November 22, 2018

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 33 points in the Bucks win over the Portland Trailblazers on November. It’s amazing to think that he is not yet turned 24 years old and will not celebrate his 24th birthday until December 6th.

Giannis has tallied 7,172 points in his young career. By scoring that many points before his 24th birthday, he ranks eighth all-time on the NBA list for most career points scored by a player before turning 24. As you might expect, LeBron James tops this list; he scored 11,514 points before his 24th birthday.

Here is a list of the nine NBA players who scored 7,000 or more points in their careers before turning 24.

LeBron James, 11,514
Kevin Durant, 9,978
Carmelo Anthony 9,264
Tracy McGrady, 8,542
Kobe Bryant, 8,197
Shaquille O’Neal, 7,481
Dwight Howard, 7,397
Giannis Antetokounmpo, 7,172*
Anthony Davis, 7,093

  • (through games of November 22, 2018)

As stated above, Giannis won’t turn 24 until December 6. The Bucks have six more games until then. If he hits his current average, 26.3 points per game, he will hit his 24th birthday with 7,330 points… not enough to push him past Howard on this list.

Giannis does rank number one on the Bucks list of most points scored by a Milwaukee Bucks player (in a Bucks uniform) before he turned 24. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is second with 4,957 points. He is followed by Brandon Jennings (4,946), Marques Johnson (4,789) and Glenn Robinson (4,125).

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Today’s Sports Stat: June 2, 2018

LeBron James put on another historic performance in Game One of the NBA Finals, but not all the news was positive.

First, James became the sixth player in NBA history to score 50 or more points in a playoff game yet his team lost that game. The others: Michael Jordan (it happened to him twice), Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant, Billy Cunningham and Russell Westbrook.

LeBron’s 51 points now ties him for second (with Allen and Westbrook) on the list for most points scored in a playoff game by a player whose team lost. Jordan tops that list with a 63-point performance in a 1986 playoff game against Boston that the Celtics won.

James became the first player in NBA Finals history to score 50 or more points in a Finals series game that his team lost. Teams that had a player score 50 or more points in a Finals game had gone 3-0 before James’ 2018 Finals Game One; teams are now 27-19 in playoff games when they have a player who scored 40 or more points.

If we combine both regular season and playoff contests, James became the ninth player in NBA history to have scored 50 or more points in three or more games that his team lost. As you might expect, Jordan tops this list with 10 such games.

Here are the players who have the most games with 50 or more points (regular season and playoff) where their team was defeated in that contest.

10: Michael Jordan

8: Kobe Bryant

7: Wilt Chamberlain

5: Allen Iverson

4: Bernard King

3: LeBron James, Bob McAdoo, Russell Westbrook, Dominique Wilkins

 

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Today’s Sports Stat: March 26, 2018

LeBron James last night became the third player in NBA history to have 2,000 or more points in 10 or more seasons. James joins Karl Malone (12 2,000-point seasons) and Michael Jordan (11 2,000-point seasons) on this exclusive list,.

It’s interesting to note that while James has amassed 10 2,000-point seasons since he came in the league in 2003-04, there are a handful of NBA franchises that have not had a 2,000-point scorer on their team in a very, very long time.

The Memphis Grizzlies franchise has not had a 2,000-point scorer in their career. The closest they got was in 1997-98 when Shareef Abdur-Rahim scored 1,829 points, the franchise record.

Here is a look at the teams that have not had a 2,000-point scorer this century. (Current franchise city is noted.)

Last year with a 2,000-point scorer
Never: Memphis

1979-80: Los Angeles Clippers (World B. Free)

1989-90: Indiana (Reggie Miller)

1992-93: Atlanta (Dominique Wilkins)

1996-97: Charlotte (Glen Rice)

1996-97: Sacramento (Mitch Richmond)

 

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