Throughout this past season, I penned a weekly “Notable Numbers” column, in which I attempted to present a plethora of interesting stats and fantasy-relevant facts to readers each Wednesday. As we look back on the recently completed 2018-19 campaign, listed below are a couple of statistics/factoids for each Eastern Conference team. Next week, I'll focus on the West.
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Following the All-Star break, Trae Young ranked second among all NBA players in total assists (211), fourth in free-throws made (137), and eighth in total points scored (569). On the season, he averaged 19.1 points, 8.1 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.9 triples. The only other rookie in league history to average over 19 points and eight assists per game was Oscar Robertson. John Collins averaged 19.5 points and 9.8 rebounds while shooting 56 percent from the floor. Per Basketball-Reference, he’s just the fourth NBA sophomore to post those averages for a season (Shaquille O’Neal ‘93-94; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ’70-71; Charles Barkley ’85-86).
Kyrie Irving put up career-highs in assists (6.9), rebounds (5.0), steals (1.5) and blocks (0.5) in 2018-19. He was one of three players (LeBron James, James Harden) to average 23/5/6 this season. The only other Celtics to average at least 23 points, five boards and six dimes over the course of a full season are Larry Bird and John Havlicek. Over Boston’s final eight games of the regular season, Gordon Hayward averaged 16.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists, while shooting 58.5% from the floor and 87.9% from the free-throw line.
D'Angelo Russell is one of the favorites to take home the NBA’s Most Improved Player award after a breakout season in Brooklyn. Only two players tallied at least 500 assists, 200 treys and 100 steals this season: James Harden and Russell. D'Angelo finished the season making a 3-pointer in 61 straight games (the longest streak in the league) and he also became just the fifth player in NBA history to average 20-plus points, seven assists and knocks down over 200 treys: Steph Curry (twice), James Harden (five times), Tim Hardaway and Russell Westbrook.
Kemba Walker is now the Hornets franchise leader in total points, made 3-pointers, career free throws, most 3-pointers made in a single game (10), most 50-point games (2), most 40-point games (11), most 30-point games (55), and most 20-point games (193). He ranks second in career assists, behind Muggsy Bogues. In a November game vs. the Sixers, Kemba tallied 60 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals. He joined Allen Iverson as the only two players 6-1 or shorter in NBA history to total 60 or more points in a single game.
Before being derailed by injuries, Wendell Carter Jr. started his career in fine fashion. Per NBA.com, he became one of five teenagers in NBA history to have at least five double-doubles through his team’s first 25 games (Howard, Okafor, Anthony and Towns)... After averaging 12.6 points in 41 games for the Wizards, Otto Porter Jr. averaged 17.5 points per game for the Bulls, to go along with 5.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.6 triples, 1.2 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.7 turnovers. He ranked 31st overall in nine-category leagues over the final two months of the season.
Collin Sexton, who appeared in all 82 games for Cleveland, is just the third rookie in NBA history to average at least 16 points, while shooting better than 40 percent from 3-point territory and 80 percent from the free throw line. The other two players in this club are Larry Bird in 1979-80 and Stephen Curry in 2009-10. Sexton really stepped up his game late in the year, scoring in double figures in 23 consecutive games to end the season. In March, he scored at least 23 points in seven successive contests, which is the longest such streak by a rookie since Tim Duncan in 1998. Cedi Osman increased his scoring average from last season by 9.1 points (3.9 to 13.0). Per NBA.com, for players who took a minimum of 150 FGA this season and last season, Osman had the third highest PPG increase in the NBA, trailing only Pascal Siakam (+9.6, 7.3 to 16.9) and Derrick Rose (8.4 to 18.0).
Andre Drummond averaged a career-high 17.3 points and a league-leading 15.6 rebounds to go along with 1.4 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.7 blocks while shooting 53.3 percent from the floor. According to Basketball-Reference, he is the first player in NBA history to average at least 15 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks. This was also the fourth time in his career he’s tallied 1,000+ points, 1,000 rebounds, 100 blocks and 100 steals in the same season, which is the most such seasons in NBA history. Blake Griffin became just the fourth player to average at least 7.5 boards, 5.4 assists and 2.5 made treys. Reggie Jackson was one of only seven players in the league to start all 82 games last season.
Bojan Bogdanovic set career highs in points, rebounds, assists and steals. However, remarkably, Bogdanovic played in each of the Pacers first 78 games, averaging 32 minutes a night, yet didn’t block a single shot until April 3rd, the 79th game of the season. For a while, it looked like he had a chance to beat out Muggsy Bogues who set the record for most minutes logged (2,629) in a single season without blocking a shot. Myles Turner averaged a career-high and league-leading 2.7 blocks, and also knocked down 76 treys. He’s the first player to lead the NBA in blocks and average one 3-pointer per game in the same season.
Justise Winslow set single-season career highs in points, assists, steals, field goals made, three-point field goals made and free throws made this season. Dwyane Wade, who recorded a 25-point triple-double in his final game, finished the season scoring in double-figures in 16 consecutive games off the bench, tying the longest streak in team history. Among the Heat’s all-time leaders, Wade ranks first in points, assists, steals, minutes, field goals made, free throws made, double-figure scoring efforts, games played and starts while placing second in blocks, scoring average and triple-doubles, fourth in rebounds and fifth in three-point field goals made and double-doubles.
Giannis Antetokounmpo so many mind-boggling numbers this season. He averaged career-highs in points (27.7, 3rd in NBA), rebounds (12.5, 6th in NBA) and assists (5.9) while shooting a career-best, and franchise record, 57.8% from the field (11th in NBA). He’s the first player ever to average 25/10/5 while shooting over 55 percent from the floor. Brook Lopez became the first player in NBA history to make more than 150 threes and block more than 150 shots in the same season. BroLo Lopez recorded 56 games with at least one 3-pointer and one block in 2018-19. Prior to this season, the most such games in a single season in NBA history was 47.
New York Knicks:
Heading into the final game of the season, Mitchell Robinson had blocked at least one shot in 38 straight games and had blocked at least two shots in 29 consecutive games (both franchise records). He’s just the second rookie in NBA history with a streak of 29 games with at least two rejections. Mitch Rob also joined DeAndre Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain as only the second player ever to shoot over 68 percent from the floor… Kevin Knox is just the eighth rookie in league history to average at least 12 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 trifectas. The other seven are Allen Iverson, Damon Stoudamire, Stephen Curry, Paul Pierce, Lauri Markkanen, Kyle Kuzma and Luka Doncic.
Nikola Vucevic stuffed the stat sheet all season, averaging 20.8 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.1 triples, 1.0 steals and 1.1 blocks, while shooting 51.8 percent from the floor. The only other players to average 20/12/3 were Giannis Antetokounmpo, Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Davis and Joel Embiid. Vooch finished the year ranked 13th overall in nine-category fantasy leagues. This was also his seventh consecutive season with at least 25 double-doubles, which is the longest active such streak in the NBA.
Ben Simmons has appeared in 160 games over his first two NBA seasons. Only two other players in league history have dished out at least 1,200 assists and grabbed 1,200 rebounds in their first 160 career games: Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson. On the flip side of the coin, Simmons has yet to make a 3-pointer. Only four NBA players this millennium have dished out over 1,000 assists without making a single 3-pointer: Shaquille O'Neal, Zaza Pachulia, Joakim Noah and Ben Simmons. In the 40 years since the NBA introduced the 3-point line, Simmons is the only guard with more than 1,000 dimes and fewer than one made 3-pointer.
Toronto was the only team in the league this season to have a different player lead them in scoring (Kawhi Leonard), rebounds (Serge Ibaka), assists (Kyle Lowry) and minutes played (Pascal Siakam).
Bradley Beal averaged 25.6 points, the most for an Eastern Conference guard, to go along with 5.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists. He’s the first player in Wizards franchise history to average 25/5/5. Beal is also one of only two players in the NBA this season to tally more than 200 made 3-pointers, 100 steals and 50 blocks. James Harden was the other. After shooting just 38.1 percent as a rookie, Thomas Bryant shot a career-high 61.6 percent from the floor during the 2018-19 season, setting the franchise record in FG%.