The MVP Race: A Historic Start
This year’s NBA season has already seen some of the greatest regular season performances of all time. Granted, we’re only 11 games into the season, but some of things we are seeing truly lack precedent.
Often times, when we are experiencing greatness first hand, we take it for granted. It happened during the 1980s with Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. It happened in the 1990s with the Chicago Bulls. It even happened as recently as 2011 when the Heatles got together in Miami.
So, this year, let’s take a second to appreciate the historic performances that are happening right before our very eyes:
There are 3 Players Close to Averaging a Triple Double LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden are all very close to averaging a triple double through this year’s first 11 games with Westbrook being the closest. The only time a player averaged a triple double for an entire season was when Oscar Robertson, then of the Milwaukee Bucks, averaged 30.8 PPG, 12.5 RPG, and 11.4 APG in the 1961-1962 season.
Steph Curry is doing Steph Curry Things Breaking the record for the most three-pointers made in a game is not the only history Curry is making this season. Only 2 players in NBA history have been members of the 50/40/90 club in multiple seasons. Larry Bird did it twice during the 1980s and Steve Nash managed in 4 times during his time with the Phoenix Suns. Last season Curry joined the club for the first time, and this season he is on pace to join Bird and Nash as the third player in history to accomplish this feat in multiple seasons.
Anthony Davis is Bringing Back the Big Man The New Orleans Pelicans are having a particularly rough season thus far. One bright spot, however, has been the play of Anthony Davis. Davis, who accounts for 31% of the Pelican nightly point total, now leads the league in scoring. If he is able to maintain this throughout the year, it will mark the first time since Kevin Garnett during the 2003/2004 NBA season that a traditional big man has been one of the top three scorers in the league. If he manages to finish as the league’s top scorer, it will be the first time a traditional big man has earned that honor since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000.
Getting Buckets in the Paint Currently, the top 3 scorers in the league are Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook and DeMar DeRozan and there is only a difference of 0.3 points between the three of them. That means that any of these three players could finish the season as the league’s leading scorer. What’s interesting is that both DeRozan and Davis are on pace to finish the season with less than 50 made three point shots. If either man finishes as the league’s top scorer it would be the first time since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000 that a player led the league in scoring while scoring less than 50 threes in a season. It’s also worth noting that the last time 3 players finished the season with 30+ Points Per Game was in 2005/2006 when Kobe Bryant (35.4), Allen Iverson (33.0) and LeBron James (31.4) all posted career-highs.