Saturday, October 4, 2008

Best scoring year ever?

Here's something I posted while briefly skimming through the forums at

The original topic:

It's not ratings related but some NBA insight couldn't hurt.

Wilt dominated in his first four seasons because the key was so tiny. After they expanded it, his numbers took a hit.

Wilt averaged 50 points on 39.5 FGA and 17.0 FTA. That's a lot of shots. It's worth noting that he did not lead the league in FG% that year.

It's also often lost that Wilt played nearly every minute of every game, which gave him some impressive numbers in otherwise lost seasons, but also took a toll on his body over the long haul.

Here's how Wilt compares to the two greatest scorers of our time.

Per 36 mins (age 24 seasons)
2003 Kobe: 26.0 pts, 20.4 fga
1988 Jordan: 31.2 pts, 21.7 fga
1961 Wilt: 28.9 pts, 23.4 fga

And this is before we adjust for pace. I'm not in a research mood but I think it's safe to say Wilt loses at least 3 FGA (per 36 mins) playing in modern environments, which is worth about 4 or 5 pts when you take into account the lost FTA also.

Per 36 mins (age 27 seasons)
1964 Wilt: 28.8 pts, 22.4 fga
1991 Jordan: 30.1 pts, 21.4 fga
2006 Kobe: 31.1 pts, 23.9 fga

Damn Kobe took a lot of shots. Let's compare that to Wilt's 50 ppg year per 36 mins

1963 Wilt: 37.4 pts, 29.3 fga (1.27 pps)
2006 Kobe: 31.1 pts, 23.9 fga (1.30 pps)

It's probably safe to say that HAD THE 3PT LINE EXISTED in the 60s, Kobe probably could have averaged 50.

1987 Jordan: 33.4 pts, 25.0 fga (1.33 pps)

For Jordan (who only went 12-66 on threes that year), it would have been a virtual certanity.

I think it has to be concluded that Jordan's 87 season is the greatest scoring season of all-time. When Bird said "That's God disguised as Michael Jordan", he wasn't kidding.


Anonymous said...

Hey nice work Rashidi. Your NBA insight is awesome.

Anonymous said...

BTW, do you play fantasy bball, Rashidi?

Rashidi said...

Yessir. Basketball and baseball.

Anonymous said...

I joined DaGreatKobe's nba board league last year. This year, the league is back.

Care to join our league? It would be great to be able to play with you.

Rashidi said...

Sure, link me up.

Anonymous said...

Nice analysis. That's what people forget when they look at Wilt's numbers. This was an era where people were chucking the ball like crazy so he had plenty of scoring opportunities and rebounds to grab.

theenemy said...

hey rashidi,
which system do you have ps3 xbox?
do you know the roster file will be downloadable to both machines via 2kShare ?

Anonymous said...

sent the league details to the email in your profile Rashidi.

Rashidi said...

I currently have an Xbox but plan to own a PS3 by the end of the month.

I don't think the rosters will be compatible platform to platform so I'd have to make roster files on both systems.

theenemy said...

good to hear you are getting a PS3.
if you don't buy one, I am sure there will be some volunteers over at the OS to make the conversion to use your ratings in their roster files for PS3. So I am not worried.