Last night, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James surpassed another milestone in a career filled with them, becoming the second-highest scorer in NBA playoff history, surpassing none other than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. With 39 points on the evening, James finds himself within a couple hundred points (and change) of all-time playoff scoring leader Michael Jordan.
If LeBron keeps to something near his playoff career scoring average of 28 points per game, he’ll surpass Jordan in the next eight to ten games. Should James make his seventh straight Finals this year, he’ll see at least another ten games. There is something incredible about watching historic sports records surpassed. I sat there wondering all the ways in which you can measure a career. Over five thousand career playoff points. Closing in on six thousand. Then the words “five” and “measure a career” and “six” and “thousand” all mixed up in my head and did this…
OK, it’s “year”, not “career”, and it certainly wasn’t five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred anythings, but LeBron James always reminds me of the year the Denver Nuggets drafted Carmelo Anthony, followed by a decade’s worth of appearances in the playoffs. The Nuggets have given me several seasons of basketball love, this most-recent squad most definitely included, which led me to wondering about measuring years and careers. I left out this mostly-young young crew’s playoff experience just yet. Let’s just say it’s a few games and points shy of James’ totals combined. A few points amongst those points, starting with career points:
These Denver Nuggets have scored 61,977 career points in their 92 combined seasons of play. Malik Beasley looks like he could be a hell of a scorer. And only has 10,890 points to go to catch up with Mr. Miller. Speaking of...
Mike Miller has 17.7% of those 61,977 points in his 17 seasons.
The Nuggets scored 9,161 points this season.
Nikola Jokic wrapped up the 2017 season with 2017 career points. Unless he scores one point next season, this will never happen again.
Danilo Gallinari has the second-highest points-per-season average of the squad, at 881.6 per year. The highest average? Back to Jokic, at 1,008.5.
Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, and Darrell Arthur have each missed an entire season due to injury, so maybe that should have been 89 combined seasons of play, to be fair.
Beasley put up a fifth of his season’s 83 points in a 17-point explosion against the Thunder in April.
Speaking of career-best scoring numbers, here’s a quick couple of quizzy questions about your Nuggets… Don’t peek below just yet. Who’s had a higher scoring game in their career?
- Kenneth Faried or Jameer Nelson
- Will Barton or Wilson Chandler
- Mason Plumlee or Juancho Hernangomez
- Who amongst the current Nuggets has had the highest scoring game?
In order: Faried over Nelson, Chandler over Barton, and a tie between Plumlee and Hernangomez. Oh, and Gallinari has the highest scoring game, one of three current Nuggets who have topped 40.
Here’s the full list:
- Miller: 45
- Nelson: 32 (3 times)
- Chandler: 36
- Gallinari: 47
- Hibbert: 30
- Faried: 34
- Arthur: 24
- Barton: 35
- Plumlee: 27
- Jokic: 40
- Harris: 28
- Mudiay: 30 (2 times)
- Murray: 30
- Hernangomez: 27
- Beasley: 17
Oh, and how many points is 525,600? In their fifty-year history, these Denver Nuggets (and Rockets) have still only scored 438,881. Still singing that damned song. The mental pickings get slim in the offseason, dear Stiffs.
Which of these Denver Nuggets players is most likely to have a new career scoring high this next season?
This poll is closed
More than one of the above
Quite possibly all of the above