If you are an NBA fan you have probably heard a lot of attention paid to a few players, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Giannis Antetokounmpo among others, who have been piling up triple-doubles early in the 2016-17 season.
While these players seem to have found a way to score a lot of points in addition to garnering assists by feeding teammates and grabbing lots of rebounds, there are some players who when it comes to scoring and passing just don’t seem to have numbers that show that they like to share the ball.
Hey, the numbers don’t lie, so let’s take a look at players past and present who have been big-time scorers but have low numbers when it comes to assists.
First, let’s look at players in NBA history who have averaged 25 or more points in a season yet had less than two assists per game that same campaign. Nine different players make our list with two of those players (Moses Malone and Amare Stoudemire) accounting for five of the 12 individual seasons with 25 or more points per game and less than two assists per contest.
NBA players with seasons with 25.0 points and less than two assists per game
Joe Fulks, Phil., 1948-49, 26.0/1.2
George Yardley, Det., 1957-58, 27.8/1.3
Paul Arizin, Phil., 1058-59, 26.4/1.7
Wilt Chamberlain, Phil., 1960-61, 38.4/1.9
Walt Bellamy, Balt., 1963-64, 27.0/1.6
Elvin Hayes, San Diego, 1968-69, 28.4/1.4
Bob Love, Chicago, 1971-72, 25.8/1.6
Moses Malone, Houst., 1979-80, 25.8/1.8
Moses Malone, Houst., 1980-81, 27.8/1.8
Moses Malone, Houst., 1981-82, 31.1/1.8
Amare Stoudemire, Phoe., 2004-05, 26.0/1.6
Amare Stoudemire, Phoe., 2007-08, 25.2/1.5
Looking at the numbers from this season, there is one player who may work his way onto the above list. New Orleans’ Anthony Davis is averaging 28.9 points and 2.1 assists per game. He will join the above list if his assist numbers drop below two per game.
Following are the players from this season who are averaging 20 or more points per game with less than three assists per contest.
Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks, 21.8/2.8
Harrison Barnes, Dallas, 20.6/1.4
Anthony Davis, New Orleans, 28.9/2.1
Brook Lopez, Brooklyn, 20.3/2.7
Kevin Love, Cleveland, 21.8/1.7
Jabari Parker, Milwaukee 20.5/2.4
Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks, 20.1/1.3
Klay Thompson, Golden State, 21.7/2.0
Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota, 21.7/2.3
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Back in December, Antawn Jamison of the Los Angeles Clippers scored his 20,000th point in the NBA, becoming the 40th player to do so in league history.
Jamison, a two-time All-Star, has fashioned a nice 16-year career in the NBA playing for six different teams. He has averaged 15 points per game in 12 of his 16 seasons.
One thing you notice about Jamison’s career, however, is that his assist totals are not as significant as his point totals. In fact, Jamison’s career assists per-game average is 1.6 per game. Of the 40 players who have scored 20,000 or more career points in the NBA, Jamison ranks 38th in that category. Only Moses Malone and Robert Parrish have a lower career assists per-game average of those 40 players.
At the other end of the list is Oscar Robertson. The “Big O” averaged 9.5 assists per game in his career while scoring 27,610 points in a 14-year career.
Following is a look at the 40 players who have scored 20,000 or more career points in an NBA career and their career assists per-game average.
Oscar Robertson 9.5
LeBron James 6.9; Gary Payton 6.7; Jerry West 6.7; Larry Bird 6.3; Allen Iverson 6.2
Clyde Drexler 5.6; Michael Jordan 5.3
Kobe Bryant 4.8; John Havlicek 4.8; Wilt Chamberlain 4.4; Elgin Baylor 4.3; Hal Greer 4.0
Charles Barkley 3.9; Kevin Garnett 3.8; Paul Pierce 3.7; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 3.6; Vince Carter 3.6; Alex English 3.6; Karl Malone 3.6; Mitch Richmond 3.5; Ray Allen 3.4; Carmelo Anthony 3.1; Tim Duncan 3.1; Adrian Dantley 3.0; Reggie Miller 3.0; Bob Pettit 3.0
George Gervin 2.6; Dirk Nowitzki 2.6; Hakeem Olajuwon 2.5; Shaquille O’Neal 2.5; David Robinson 2.5; Dominique Wilkins 2.5; Walt Bellamy 2.4; Tom Chambers 2.1
Patrick Ewing 1.9; Elvin Hayes 1.8; Antawn Jamison 1.6; Robert Parrish 1.4; Moses Malone 1.3
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Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.
As Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love and the team decide how to deal with his “mild concussion” and if he will return for the remainder of this season, his stats for this year sit at 26.0 points per game and 13.3 rebounds per contest. Should Love and the team decide that he will sit out the remainder of this season, Love will end the campaign as only the fourth player in the last 30 years to average 26+ points per game with 13+ rebounds per game.
In NBA history, there have been 40 times when a player averaged 26 points and 13 rebounds per game. The last to do so was Shaquille O’Neal in the 1999-2000 season when he averaged 29.7 points per game and 13.6 rebounds per contest.
Here’s a quick look at the last five occasions when a player ended the year with a “26-13” season.
Player, year, points per game/rebounds per game
Shaquille O’Neal, 1999-2000, 29.7/13.6
Shaquille O’Neal, 1993-94, 29.3/13.2
Hakeem Olajuwon, 1992-93, 26.1/13.0
Moses Malone, 1981-82, 31.1/14.7
Moses Malone, 1980-81, 27.8/14.8
If Love ends the year with a “26-13” season, he will become the 13th player in NBA history to accomplish this feat. Wilt Chamberlain tops the list with eight “26-13” seasons.
Here’s the 12 players who had at least one “26-13” season in their NBA career.
Player, “26-13” NBA seasons
Did you know? Here’s another interesting fact about Kevin Love’s 2011-2012 season. If he ends the year averaging over 13 rebounds per game, he will become only the fourth player in NBA history to average 13+ rebounds and make over 100 three-point shots. First to accomplish this mark was Shawn Marion of the Phoenix Suns in 2004-05 when he made 144 three-points shots to go with 11.3 rebounds per game. Antawn Jamison with Washington in 2007-08 made 120 threes along with averaging 10.2 rebounds per game. The last player to accomplish this feat was Indiana’s Troy Murphy, who did it in two consecutive seasons, 2008-09 (161 and 11.8) and 2009-10 (128 and 10.2).