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Gilgeous-Alexander Is NBA’s Most Consistent Volume Scorer … Ever

This is a series of NBA Data Nuggets that will be published every Friday throughout the 2024 NBA Playoffs.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard and 2024 NBA MVP finalist Shai Gilgeous-Alexander recently signed a multiyear contract to become the face of Converse Basketball. He was named the brand’s creative director and will have a signature shoe released next year.

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Converse’s posts on X and Instagram announcing the deal included a 15-second video featuring Gilgeous-Alexander shooting a basketball, staring into the camera and also writing a single word on a piece of paper: “Consistency.”

Gilgeous-Alexander scored between 20 and 40 points in a ridiculous 91% of his games this season. Although he only broke 40 twice, he only notched less than 20 five times.

Compare those numbers to someone who runs more hot and cold, like the New York KnicksJalen Brunson. He exceeded 40 points nine times but also failed to eclipse 20 points in 10 different appearances. (All data excludes games in which players played less than 20 minutes.)

Of the 82 individual seasons in NBA history in which a player averaged at least 30 points per game, Gilgeous-Alexander’s past two seasons rank first and third for the lowest standard deviations of their single-game scoring totals, with a lower standard deviation meaning that the numbers vary less. Oscar Robertson’s 1963-64 season places second, and Kevin Durant’s 2009-10 campaign sits fourth.

The 25-year-old Canadian is an outlier among his contemporaries as well. Seven qualifying players in 2022-23 and another four in 2023-24 averaged at least 28 points per game. All of them had standard deviations that ranged between 8.4 and 11.3, except for Gilgeous-Alexander, whose mark was 6.75 this year and 6.68 last year.

This season, the Boston CelticsJayson Tatum (6.64) and the Los Angeles LakersLeBron James (6.61) were the only players among the NBA's top 25 scorers with a lower standard deviation of scoring totals than Gilgeous-Alexander, but they did so on a lower scoring volume.

Whether or not the marketing folks at Converse have looked at the data, Gilgeous-Alexander is aware of his reputation and believes his on-court results are connected to his mentality off the court. “My whole life is consistent. Everything I do. From what I eat, to when I sleep, to my recovery,” the Thunder superstar said in a postgame interview earlier this season.

In the first two playoff games of Gilgeous-Alexander’s career this week, he scored 28 points and 33 points. That’s good for an average of 30.5 points, nearly identical to his regular season average of 30.1.

What else would you expect from the king of consistency?

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