• Charles Allen

NBA Fantasy: Predicting the Top 3 In Points Scored for the 2019-20 Season


USA Today

Over the years, basketball fans have fallen head-over-heels for the player who can get buckets. If that player does little else well, the casual fan will tend to look past those inadequacies, and blindly cheer as long as they are scoring points. The same can usually be said for the casual fantasy basketball player.

Some things that separate the NBA from other professional sports leagues include:

- the speed at which the game is played;

- the frequency with which both teams tend to score.

So there is certainly a case to be made for players who excel at scoring in volume.

When it comes to fantasy basketball, most people playing tend to look first at players who will score the most points. Fantasy drafts are all about being able to predict who you think will put up serious numbers during the season, so before we go on to predict who will score the most points for the upcoming season, let's take a look at last year's scoring leaders.

Last Year's Top-3 Scorers

Finishing in first was James Harden with 2,818 points. Looking back further, Harden has finished in the top-3 of points scored for the past five seasons. His scoring prowess borders on the mythical; it's almost unbelievable when you consider that the next closest person to Harden's point total was still 659 points behind him.

Second on this list was Paul George, with 2,159 points. George saw a jump in scoring last season, finishing with a 28.0 point per game average, up nearly eight points per game from the previous season.

Rounding out the top-3 from last season was Kemba Walker, with 2,102 points. Walker was one of the lone bright spots on a Charlotte Hornets team that missed the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season. Walker did, however, go on to earn his first All-NBA selection.

Both George and Walker were newcomers to the list, replacing LeBron James and Anthony Davis who occupied the first and third spots (sandwich-ing Harden at the second spot), respectively, for the 2017-2018 season.

In predicting the top-3 scorers for the upcoming season, it's crucial to understand the changing landscape of the NBA. Harden is now paired up with Russell Westbrook, who plays a much different game than Harden's previous point guard pal, Chis Paul. George, who played alongside Westbrook last season for the Oklahoma City Thunder, is now playing next to Kawhi Leonard for the Los Angeles Clippers, while Walker is now leading the charge for the Boston Celtics.

Those changes are just the tip of the iceberg for an upcoming NBA season that is surely going to be packed full of surprises.

Predicting 2019-2020's Top-3 Scorers

1. Stephen Curry.

Curry will no longer be sharing any of the offensive load with Kevin Durant, and he will be without the help of Klay Thompson for a large chunk of the season. When healthy, Curry is one of the most lethal offensive threats on the court - he has finished in the top-3 twice throughout his career. Steph is a scoring supernova waiting to happen, and this year, there's nothing (and no one) left to dampen this shooting star.

2. Bradley Beal.

Like Curry, Beal is going to be the lone ranger offensively for the Washington Wizards, at least until John Wall has fully recovered from his injury. Beal finished fourth on the points-scored leaderboard last season, and top-7 in points scored for the 2016-2017 season, while also playing all 82 games during both campaigns. Another 82 game slate with minimal offensive support could be the recipe for this iron man to stake his claim as an absolutely dominant scorer.

3. James Harden.

It's hard to not vouch for a guy who is consistently in the top-3 on this list, even if he does have to share the ball with Westbrook. While his points-per-game totals could take a slight dip, Harden has been going to the free-throw line over 10 times a game for the past five seasons, and last season he averaged a staggering 13 threes attempted per game. Regardless of how you feel about the way Harden gets his buckets, it's safe to say he is going to get them.

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