Statistically Speaking, These Players Were NBA Leaders Through And Through

As the 2023-24 NBA regular season has come to a close, and the playoffs are set to begin, there were many notable season performances from up-and-coming talent to highlight, such as the following league leaders:Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks, NBA

Luka Doncic – points per game (33.9), Domantas Sabonis – rebounds per game (13.7), Tyrese Haliburton – assists per game (10.9), De’Aaron Fox – steals per game (2.0), Victor Wembanyama – blocks per game (3.6), Daniel Gafford – field goal percentage (72.5%), Stephen Curry – three-pointers per game (4.8), Grayson Allen – three-point percentage (46.1%). 

In his sixth NBA season, Doncic became the first player in Dallas Mavericks history to lead the league in scoring with 33.9 points per game. The MVP candidate set a career-high in not only points but also assists, as he dished out 9.8 APG, which ranks him third in the NBA behind Haliburton and Trae Young (10.8).

Furthermore, the 25-year-old put up 21 triple-doubles this season, which means he is now tied for eighth on the NBA all-time list. Also, during a stretch towards the end of the year (2/28-3/9), Doncic became the first player in NBA history to record six straight 30-point triple-doubles, passing Russell Westbrook (5). To note, Doncic also holds the game-high for points scored in a game this season with 73 vs. the Hawks (1/26).

In his ninth NBA season, Sabonis was the league’s leading rebounder as he grabbed a career-high 13.7 boards per game.

Statistically speaking, this was the best season for the Kings’ big man, as he also scored 19.4 points per game, to go along with a career-best 8.2 assists. That is to say, the 27-year-old led the NBA with 26 triple-doubles and also recorded 77 double-doubles, which is the most since Moses Malone (1978-79). Sabonis’ notable consecutive double-double streak of 61 ended on April 9 vs. the Thunder; this was the seventh longest streak of double-doubles in NBA history.

In his fifth NBA season, Haliburton dished out a league-best 752 assists (10.9 APG), while also passing Mark Jackson (713; 1997-98) for the single-season Pacers’ franchise record. Notably, Haliburton recorded 20+ assists in back-to-back games this season: 20 assists vs. Bulls (12/28); and 23 assists vs. Knicks (12/30).

In addition, the 24-year-old also scored 20.1 points per game, helping lead the Pacers to be the highest-scoring team in the NBA this year (123.3 PPG). 

In his seventh NBA season, the Kings’ Fox led the NBA in steals (150) with two per game. To mention, MVP candidate Shai-Gilgeous Alexander also had 150 steals (2.0 SPG) but played in one more game than Fox (2.03 SPG), so the tie-breaker for the steals title goes to the higher per-game average. Fox, scored a career-best 26.6 points per game, to go along with 4.6 rebounds (career-high) and 5.6 assists. The 26-year-old also finished second behind Mavericks’ guard Kyrie Irving, for most fourth-quarter points in the NBA this season (547). 

Wembanyama led the NBA in blocks this season with 3.6 per game, so this means the 7-foot-4, 20-year-old is only the second rookie in NBA history to lead the league in blocks, as Bol Bol also accomplished this feat during his 1985-86 rookie season with 5.0 blocks per game.

As the most highly sought-after first-overall pick since LeBron James, Wembanyama certainly did not disappoint in his first season. In addition to recording 254 blocks, which is already more than almost 90% of all players in NBA history (career blocks total), Wembanyama proved himself as a once in a lifetime, generational talent, scoring 21.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game. 

Dubbed with the nickname “human cheat code,” Wembanyama is the only player in NBA history with 1500+ points, 250+ blocks, and 100+ three-pointers in a single season. There may have never been a player with a higher ceiling than the Frenchman, when asked how his current level of play compares to where he hopes to be one day, Wembanyama told the French media, “I would say that I am currently at 15% between my first NBA game and what I hope will be my prime.”

In his seventh NBA season, Mavericks’ center Gafford scored a career-high 11 points per game with a league-leading 72.5% FG. This is the third-best field goal shooting percentage ever recorded during a season by a player in NBA history. Gafford was traded from the Wizards ahead of the trade deadline, and in 21 games in a Mavs uniform, the 6-foot-10 big man shot 78% from the field. In fact, during a 5-game stretch (3/5-3/13) Gafford made 33 consecutive shots, which only trails Wilt Chamberlain (35 shots made in a row; 1966-67 season).

Two-time MVP Curry made a league-best 357 three-pointers (4.8 per game) this season. This is the eighth time in his career that Curry has been the NBA’s three-point scoring leader, as he has now contributed to five of the top six highest three-point season totals in NBA history. In his 15th season in the NBA, Curry averaged 26.4 points (40.8% FG), 4.5 rebounds, and 5.1 assists. To put into perspective the sheer dominance of the 10x All-Star, on the NBA three-pointers made list, Curry is No. 1 all-time with 3,747 threes throughout his career, the next closest player is Ray Allen (2,973).

In his sixth NBA season, Suns’ guard Allen, made 205 three-pointers, shooting 46.1% from beyond the arc. The 28-year-old scored a career-high in not only field goal%, but also in points (13.5), rebounds (3.9), and assists (3.0); Allen recorded a career-high 9 3’s in three different games this season (1/5 vs. Heat, 1/16 vs. Kings, 3/20 vs. 76ers). After leading the league in three-point shooting, Allen recently signed a four-year $70 million contract extension.

Some other notable league leaders in statistical categories include: Nikola Jokic – win shares (17.0), DeMar DeRozan – minutes per game (37.8), Doncic – turnovers (282)/usage percentage (36%), Jusuf Nurkic – fouls (254), Gilgeous-Alexander- free throws made (567), and Giannis Antetokounmpo – free throws attempted (782).

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