NBA Stat Central #6: Is That Even Possible?


Welcome to NBA Stat Central, our weekly column where we delve deeper into NBA statistics. We’re here with a different theme every Friday, so check out the archives and be sure to check back every Friday!

This week, our theme refers to statistical improbabilities that don’t even seem possible or make any sense.

The 1982-83 Los Angeles Lakers shot 10.4% as a team from the three-point line!

What’s just as amazing is that the team went 58-24 and scored 115 points per game. They had the No. 1 rated offensive team in the NBA. They would go on to the NBA Finals and lose, but the three-point percentage seems impossible.

The team leader made just five three-point shots for the ENTIRE season. The league averaged just 23.8%. The basket hasn’t changed in height or circumference since then, but teams are much more prolific. How could they have been so poor?

Rk Player Age G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 35 79 79 2554 722 1228 .588 0 2 .000 278 371 .749 167 425 592 200 61 170 200 220 1722
2 Jamaal Wilkes 29 80 80 2552 684 1290 .530 0 6 .000 203 268 .757 146 197 343 182 65 17 150 221 1571
3 Magic Johnson 23 79 79 2907 511 933 .548 0 21 .000 304 380 .800 214 469 683 829 176 47 301 200 1326
4 Norm Nixon 27 79 79 2711 533 1123 .475 0 13 .000 125 168 .744 61 144 205 566 104 4 237 176 1191
5 James Worthy 21 77 1 1970 447 772 .579 1 4 .250 138 221 .624 157 242 399 132 91 64 178 221 1033
6 Bob McAdoo 31 47 1 1019 292 562 .520 0 1 .000 119 163 .730 76 171 247 39 40 40 68 153 703
7 Michael Cooper 26 82 3 2148 266 497 .535 5 21 .238 102 130 .785 82 192 274 315 115 50 128 208 639
8 Kurt Rambis 24 78 77 1806 235 413 .569 0 2 .000 114 166 .687 164 367 531 90 105 63 145 233 584
9 Mike McGee 23 39 7 381 69 163 .423 1 7 .143 17 23 .739 33 20 53 26 11 5 27 50 156
10 Dwight Jones 30 32 0 491 62 132 .470 0 1 .000 32 48 .667 28 86 114 22 13 9 35 82 156
11 Clay Johnson 26 48 0 447 53 135 .393 0 2 .000 38 48 .792 40 29 69 24 22 4 25 62 144
12 Mark Landsberger 27 39 4 356 43 102 .422 0 0 12 25 .480 55 73 128 12 8 4 20 48 98
13 Eddie Jordan 28 35 0 333 40 132 .303 3 16 .188 11 17 .647 8 18 26 80 31 1 54 52 94
14 Steve Mix 35 1 0 17 4 10 .400 0 0 1 1 1.000 1 0 1 2 0 0 0 1 9
15 Billy Ray Bates 26 4 0 27 2 16 .125 0 0 1 2 .500 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 5
16 Joe Cooper 25 2 0 11 1 4 .250 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 1 1 3 3 2
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/23/2012.

Walt Bellamy led the NBA in games played in 1968-69 with 88…in an 82 game season!

I could see a player getting traded to a team that had played one or two fewer games, but this was the perfect storm. First, Bellamy was good enough that he played in every game for both teams. Second, he was fortunate enough to escape injury that would have derailed this feat.

In an interesting twist, this season was the only within a seven-year stretch that he didn’t play in the playoffs. Good thing, because he would have been exhausted.

Season Age Tm Lg G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1968-69 29 TOT NBA 88 35.9 6.4 12.5 .510 4.6 7.0 .649 12.5 2.0 3.6 17.4
1968-69 29 NYK NBA 35 32.5 5.8 11.5 .507 3.6 5.8 .619 11.0 2.2 3.5 15.2
1968-69 29 DET NBA 53 38.2 6.8 13.2 .512 5.2 7.8 .663 13.5 1.9 3.7 18.8
Career NBA 1043 37.3 7.6 14.7 .516 4.9 7.8 .632 3.4 6.2 13.7 2.4 0.7 0.6 3.4 20.1
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/23/2012.

Steve Nash has more blocked shots than Kobe Bryant for the 2012-13 Los Angeles Lakers

Nash has played a grand total of 50 minutes and isn’t exactly known for his defensive prowess. Bryant has played 441 minutes and has been named to the All-Defensive team 12 times, including each of the last seven seasons.

It makes no sense whatsoever, but Bryant has a grand total of zero blocks. Nash has one. Even Jose Calderon and his 42 career blocks (three this year) make Bryant look bad on this one. Kobe gets the last laugh, though, as he leads the league in scoring.

Season Age Tm Lg G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2012-13 34 LAL NBA 12 12 441 113 213 .531 23 55 .418 78 89 .876 9 55 64 62 18 0 44 33 327
Career NBA 1173 1025 42818 10399 22919 .454 1528 4527 .338 7485 8931 .838 1373 4833 6206 5480 1740 594 3476 3024 29811
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/23/2012.

No player has averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists since 2004-05

With great all-around players like LeBron James and Kevin Durant in the league and in or nearing their primes, it’s hard to believe this one. The last player to averaged 20-10-5 was Kevin Garnett for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Durant is currently averaging 25.4/10.1/4.7 while James is at 24.8/9.1/6.6.

Since the 1979-80 season, only Garnett (three times), Larry Bird (five times), Charles Barkley and Chris Webber have accomplished the feat.

Totals Shooting Per Game
Rk Player Season ▾ Age Tm Lg G GS MP FG FGA 3P 3PA FT FTA ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS FG% 3P% FT% PTS TRB AST WS
1 Kevin Garnett 2004-05 28 MIN NBA 82 82 3121 683 1360 6 25 445 549 247 861 1108 466 121 112 222 207 1817 .502 .240 .811 22.2 13.5 5.7 16.1
2 Kevin Garnett 2002-03 26 MIN NBA 82 82 3321 743 1481 20 71 377 502 244 858 1102 495 113 129 229 199 1883 .502 .282 .751 23.0 13.4 6.0 15.6
3 Chris Webber 2002-03 29 SAC NBA 67 67 2622 661 1433 5 21 215 354 160 544 704 364 106 88 215 204 1542 .461 .238 .607 23.0 10.5 5.4 6.9
4 Kevin Garnett 2001-02 25 MIN NBA 81 81 3175 659 1401 37 116 359 448 243 738 981 422 96 126 229 184 1714 .470 .319 .801 21.2 12.1 5.2 12.8
5 Charles Barkley* 1992-93 29 PHO NBA 76 76 2859 716 1376 67 220 445 582 237 691 928 385 119 74 233 197 1944 .520 .305 .765 25.6 12.2 5.1 14.4
6 Larry Bird* 1984-85 28 BOS NBA 80 77 3161 918 1760 56 131 403 457 164 678 842 531 129 98 248 208 2295 .522 .427 .882 28.7 10.5 6.6 15.7
7 Larry Bird* 1983-84 27 BOS NBA 79 77 3028 758 1542 18 73 374 421 181 615 796 520 144 69 237 197 1908 .492 .247 .888 24.2 10.1 6.6 13.6
8 Larry Bird* 1982-83 26 BOS NBA 79 79 2982 747 1481 22 77 351 418 193 677 870 458 148 71 240 197 1867 .504 .286 .840 23.6 11.0 5.8 14.0
9 Larry Bird* 1981-82 25 BOS NBA 77 58 2923 711 1414 11 52 328 380 200 637 837 447 143 66 254 244 1761 .503 .212 .863 22.9 10.9 5.8 12.5
10 Larry Bird* 1980-81 24 BOS NBA 82 82 3239 719 1503 20 74 283 328 191 704 895 451 161 63 289 239 1741 .478 .270 .863 21.2 10.9 5.5 10.8
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/23/2012.

No team has shot worse than 40% from the field since 1979-80

No team, not even the historically horrid 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats team, has ever shot worse than 40 percent in a season. The 1998-99 Chicago Bulls (year after Michael Jordan retired) gave it a shot with a .401 shooting percentage.

Currently, the Washington Wizards are also giving it a shot. As of now, they would be the worst shooting team in the history of the three-point era, at an even .400. Words don’t truly do their shooting woes justice, so just enjoy the table below.

Rk Player Age G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1 Jordan Crawford 24 10 3 231 41 103 .398 12 37 .324 25 31 .806 11 24 35 35 3 2 24 17 119
2 Bradley Beal 19 10 8 270 35 104 .337 14 42 .333 27 30 .900 8 22 30 18 9 5 20 20 111
3 Kevin Seraphin 23 9 1 206 48 97 .495 0 0 6 10 .600 14 25 39 10 2 8 20 31 102
4 A.J. Price 26 10 9 306 37 103 .359 18 55 .327 9 10 .900 7 25 32 58 8 0 17 17 101
5 Trevor Ariza 27 10 9 260 32 97 .330 8 30 .267 15 19 .789 13 45 58 19 22 6 14 11 87
6 Emeka Okafor 30 10 9 226 30 76 .395 0 0 14 23 .609 26 35 61 9 6 19 9 16 74
7 Trevor Booker 25 9 7 217 29 64 .453 0 2 .000 3 5 .600 18 32 50 13 11 5 12 22 61
8 Martell Webster 26 9 0 180 19 46 .413 10 26 .385 13 14 .929 4 28 32 12 4 4 11 16 61
9 Chris Singleton 23 10 0 142 20 37 .541 1 6 .167 6 12 .500 6 23 29 6 8 0 7 23 47
10 Jan Vesely 22 10 3 148 12 28 .429 0 0 3 12 .250 12 16 28 9 3 4 8 30 27
11 Cartier Martin 28 5 0 41 9 20 .450 6 14 .429 0 0 0 7 7 0 4 0 2 2 24
12 Jannero Pargo 33 7 0 102 8 32 .250 3 20 .150 2 2 1.000 0 6 6 14 0 1 8 8 21
13 Earl Barron 31 4 0 39 9 14 .643 0 0 1 3 .333 7 8 15 1 3 1 2 9 19
14 Shaun Livingston 27 3 1 63 7 20 .350 0 2 .000 2 2 1.000 0 4 4 9 1 1 1 2 16
15 Nene Hilario 30 1 0 20 2 5 .400 0 0 8 10 .800 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 3 12
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/23/2012.

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