NBA Players With The Most Points Per Game Since Michael Jordan’s Era

NBA Players With The Most Points Per Game Since Michael Jordan's Era

Regarding scoring in basketball, nobody in history did it better than Michael Jordan. He dominated his era with 10 scoring titles, including 7 in a row from 1987 through 1993 and 3 more from 1996 through 1998. Jordan owns the highest career PPG in NBA history with 30.1 PPG. He also holds the highest playoff PPG with 33.4 PPG in 179 playoff games. To top it all off, Jordan also has the 4th highest scoring average for a career in the NBA Finals with 33.6 PPG. Simply put, Michael Jordan mastered the art of putting the ball through the hoop, and no one in history has done it better.

Jordan rode off into the sunset, or so we thought, after his 6th championship with the Chicago Bulls in 1998. Today, we will speak about the players that Michael Jordan passed the proverbial scoring torch to since his last game as a Chicago Bull. These players have been the best scorers per game over the last 23 years. Some of these players you will see have mastered the art of shooting threes, sizing up the mid-range jumper, or couldn’t be stopped from the low blocks. These are the lightning-fast guards who can get to the rim. These are the monsters of the paint that used a combination of strength, power, touch, and finesse to dominate opponents.

These are the 10 players who have scored the most PPG since Michael Jordan left the Chicago Bulls.

*Rule: Players must have played at least 700 games since the 1998-99 season to qualify for this list*

10. Dwyane Wade – 22.0 PPG

Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade’s abilities as a scorer really get overshadowed by his all-around game and the arrivals of LeBron James and Chris Bosh in Miami in 2011. One aspect of Wade’s game that goes particularly less talked about was his elite scoring in his prime. He was a defender’s nightmare in isolation, using his handles and incredible agility, Wade could get to the basket in a split second and throw down a highlight dunk to cap it off. Once James and Bosh arrived, he altered his game to become a spot-up shooter and one of the more lethal transition threats in basketball. He could bully his way into the post on smaller defenders and knock down fadeaways or hooks over the right shoulder with relative ease.

Wade began to show off his scoring prowess almost immediately as his scoring average skyrocketed to 24.1 PPG in just his second season. The following year in 2006 was Wade’s incredible run to the NBA championship, and he averaged 27.2 PPG on the season and 28.4 PPG in the playoffs. A few seasons later in 2010, he became the NBA’s scoring champion by averaging 30.2 PPG on 47.6% shooting. It wasn’t just the sheer volume that made Wade’s scoring so special, but the efficiency he did it with, too. For his career, Wade scored over 23,000 points on a 55.4 TS%.

9. Carmelo Anthony – 22.5 PPG

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony is easily one of the most talented scorers of the 2000s and 2010s. There was never a matchup, especially one-on-one, that didn’t favor Carmelo Anthony when he had the ball in his hands. He was deceptively strong, agile, and had incredible body control. If there was a bigger defender in his way, he used a series of fakes and dribbles to work his way around him. He could shoot from anywhere on the floor and if he got hot, you better get 4 hands in his face to stop him. He was also lethal with his back to the basket, using his strength to back his defender down and then his finesse to rise up and knock down a turnaround jumper.

Carmelo Anthony was a solid 20.0 PPG scorer from the moment he was drafted in 2003. From the 2003-04 season through the 2014-15 season, Anthony was consistently one of the top scorers in the NBA. He averaged 25.0 PPG or more in 7 out of 8 seasons from 2007 through 2014 and averaged over 28.0 PPG 3 times. His career-high 28.7 PPG in 2013 with the New York Knicks earned him the only scoring title of his career and a 3rd place finish in the MVP voting. The lack of an NBA championship usually haunts the way we talk about Carmelo Anthony’s career, but the talent at his best is undeniable.

8. Russell Westbrook – 22.8 PPG

Russell Westbrook

Given that he made his NBA debut in the 2008-09 season and his career PPG is 18.5 PPG, it may be a bit surprising to see Russell Westbrook among the top ten scorers since 1999. This is a player that at his peak was one of the most lethal weapons in the NBA and scored at will. Westbrook was about as athletic and explosive as a point guard could be in his days with Oklahoma City, which made him a threat at so many levels. He blew by defenders off of the dribble regularly and once he got a head of steam; it was best for defenders to move out of the way. Impossible to guard on the fast break, Westbrook made history with his scoring and his all-around game that earned him the all-time triple-double crown and an MVP award in 2017.

Westbrook was as consistent of a scorer as there was from 2011 through 2021. He averaged at least 21.0 PPG every one of those seasons and really hit his stride in the 2015 through 2017 seasons. In 2015, he averaged 28.1 PPG and took home his first career scoring title. The following season in 2016, his scoring dipped a bit to 23.5 PPG. After his teammate Kevin Durant left for Golden State following the 2016 season, Westbrook went nuclear. IN 2017, he averaged 31.6 PPG and his first scoring title as well as his first MVP award. He has still remained a consistent scoring threat after that MVP run, averaging 23.1 PPG since 2017.

7. Stephen Curry – 24.3 PPG

Stephen Curry

You just know we were bound to see Stephen Curry here at some point. As the greatest 3-point shooter in the history of the game, Curry has racked up points fairly easily since he began to break out in the 2013-14 season. The sheer volume of 3-pointers Curry takes and hits make him a Top 10 candidate right out of the gates. His game is predicated on his ability to knock down three-point shots from quite literally anywhere on the floor, but he has displayed many other ways to get it done. Curry has no issues getting by defenders who are overplaying him on the perimeter and as shown from his shooting, has incredible tough on the ball with his floaters and layups.

Curry began to show that he was a legitimate scoring threat in the 2012-13 season. He averaged 22.9 PPG that season and has not dipped that low in scoring since. Well, aside from the 2020 season that saw him play just 5 games and average 20.9 PPG. Since 2014-15, the year that he won his first MVP award and NBA championship, Curry has averaged 27.0 PPG on 47.7% shooting overall and 42.3% from three. That efficiency came on 10.7 attempts from beyond the arc and came with a ridiculous 64.2% TS%. Curry won scoring titles in 2016 and 2021 when he averaged over 30.0 PPG both seasons. His volume and efficiency make him one of the best scorers of this generation, and we may never see something like it again.

6. Damian Lillard – 24.6 PPG

Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard has become one of the better 3-point shooters of his era since 2013, but the different ways he has developed his scoring have been impressive to watch. Lillard possesses an explosive first step off of the dribble that allows him to set everything up. From there, he can go right or left to finish at the rim or find one of his teammates if things get too clogged up. He also can reel it back and knock down step-back triples that have proven to be back-breaking in the past. His unlimited shooting range is well highlighted throughout his career and because of it, his scoring numbers have exploded.

Lillard began to morph into a legitimate scorer by his second season in the NBA. Weighed down at times with the weight of a franchise on his shoulders, Lillard stepped up and took on the challenge. From 2016 through 2021, Lillard became a consistent 25.0 PPG scoring threat every single night. Over that time, he averaged 27.2 PPG on 44.3% shooting overall and 37.8% from three. He averaged a career-high 30.0 PPG in 2020 and finished 3rd in the NBA in scoring. Even in an injury-riddled 2022 season, Lillard played just 29 games but managed to put in 24.0 PPG.

5. James Harden – 24.9 PPG

James Harden-USA TODAY Sports

James Harden is another one of the most talented scorers of the 2010s. It isn’t too crazy to say that at his peak, Harden was probably the best scorer in basketball and it earned him an MVP award in 2018. James Harden did whatever he could to put the Houston Rockets on his back for 9 seasons and put the ball in the basket at a ridiculous rate. His handles made him an incredible perimeter threat with his ability to pull up from deep at any moment or reel it back after his first move to hit a nasty step-back three. When he did get by the defender, Harden had no problem finishing at the rim and made his way to the foul line a tremendous amount.

The first flashes of how big of an NBA star Harden was going to become came as the sixth man in Oklahoma City. When he got to Houston is when he broke out of his shell. In his first season with the Rockets, Harden averaged 25.9 PPG in 78 contests. For the next 8 seasons, his scoring average would not dip below the 25.0 PPG threshold. He won three straight scoring titles from 2018 through 2021 and averaged 33.7 PPG over that time. His career-high PPG came in 2019 when he averaged 36.1 PPG in 78 games and shot the ball 44.2% overall. As one of the most lethal scorers in the 2010s, fans may be surprised to see Harden this low on our list. 

4. Kobe Bryant – 26.7 PPG

Kobe Bryant

After Michael Jordan retired in 1998, the title for the next face of the NBA was up for grabs. A young man named Kobe Bryant with the Los Angeles Lakers stepped up to the challenge. Kobe became the face of the NBA and a generation in the process, all while becoming the best soccer in the league over a period of time. Kobe could do it all on the floor. No defender could hold him down in isolation, and no bigger defender could contain him in the post. Once Kobe picked a spot and got to it, there was nothing a defense could do to slow him down.

By the 1999-00 season, Kobe was a solidified 20.0 PPG per night threat. From 2001 to 2013, Bryant had one of the highest PPG averages in basketball at 28.1 PPG. During that time, he averaged over 25.0 PPG 12 times and won back-to-back scoring titles in 2006 and 2007. He averaged a whopping 35.4 PPG in 2006 and it was the first time the league had seen an average that high since Michael Jordan himself. Bryant helped the Lakers win 5 championships with 2 Finals MVP awards and an MVP award in 2008.

3. LeBron James – 27.1 PPG

LeBron James

When we think of consistency, longevity, and overall greatness, the 2 names that are synonymous are Michael Jordan and LeBron James. LeBron has been as consistent as one can be in his NBA career, which in 2023 has reached its 20th act. Earlier in his career, LeBron was unstoppable when he got downhill and attacked the basket with a bit of an ability to shoot from distance. As his career has gone on, he has become the most deadly transition player in basketball but also has started to move further and further away from the basket. No matter the circumstances, LeBron has remained a consistent threat to break hearts with his scoring ability.

The most incredible stat pertaining to LeBron James’ scoring consistency began in his sophomore year in 2005. Since that particular season and all the way up to 2022, James has averaged at least 25.0 PPG every year. During that time, he has won MVP awards, championships, and Finals MVP awards and is still considered a “pass-first” player. He averaged his career-high in 2006 when he averaged 31.4 PPG. He won his only scoring title in 2008 when he averaged 30.0 PPG. For just the 3rd time in his career, LeBron James averaged over 30.0 PPG in 2022 in year 19 at 37 years old. I think it is time we start to give LeBron his props as a scorer.

2. Kevin Durant – 27.2 PPG

Kevin Durant

Over the course of his 15-year career, Kevin Durant has become one of the best scorers in NBA history. At 7’0’’ tall, Durant’s ability to create for himself off of the dribble is nothing short of miraculous. He uses the handles of a point guard and his tall, lanky frame to create a high-efficiency shot, which for him is pretty much from anywhere. Durant is deadly from the mid-range, which is where he has done most of the damage in his career. Subsequently, he is also a very good 3-point shooter and finisher at the basket. He is a true three-level threat who must be accounted for at all times on the basketball court.

In 2008, Durant won Rookie of the Year, averaging 20.3 PPG. From that season on, his scoring average never dipped below 25.0 PPG again. Durant would win 3 straight scoring titles from 2010 to 2012. Over that time, he averaged 28.7 PPG on 47.7% shooting and 36.6% from three. He would add another scoring title in 2014 when he averaged 32.0 PPG. Even a potentially career-altering Achilles injury didn’t slow him down. Just 2 years after coming back, in 2022, Durant averaged 29.9 PPG for the Brooklyn Nets on 51.8% shooting.

1. Allen Iverson – 27.5 PPG

Allen Iverson Lost A 1-On-1 Against A Rapper And Refused To Pay Him $10,000: "He Started Beating Me Up, Fouling Every Time... Hell If I Was About To Pay Him."

I honestly don’t know how it happened, but somehow Allen Iverson has become underrated in NBA conversations. Hopefully, this attests to just how great Iverson was in his prime. Perhaps the most impressive part of Iverson’s scoring was the fact that he was so small in NBA circles yet such a larger-than-life basketball player. Iverson had no problem shedding defenders on the perimeter and taking it right to a big man’s chest on his way to a bucket. We are talking about the likes of Shaq, Duncan, Garnett, and so many more elite bigs who made defense their bread and butter. It didn’t matter who was in front of him, Iverson was going to get his.

It didn’t take long for fans, coaches, and his peers to realize how much of a problem Iverson was going to be for the NBA. Iverson captured his first scoring title in just his 3rd season in the NBA in 1999, the year after Jordan retired. He would capture back-to-back scoring titles in 2001 and 2002, averaging over 31.0 PPG in both seasons. He won his 4th and final scoring title in 2005 with 30.7 PPG. From 1999 through 2006, Iverson had the NBA in a stranglehold with his scoring, averaging 29.6 PPG on 41.7% shooting. With his abilities, Iverson became a cultural icon and one of the most exciting players the game has ever seen. 


NBA Players Who Averaged At Least 20.0 PPG And 10.0 APG In A Season

Only 8 NBA Players Have Never Averaged Less Than 20 PPG In Their Career

NBA Players Who Averaged At Least 20.0 PPG And 10.0 RPG For Their Entire Career

The Most Points Per Game In A Single Season Tiers: Wilt Chamberlain’s 50.4 PPG Is Untouchable

10 Highest Scoring NBA Teams In The Regular Season: 1982 Nuggets Still Hold The Record With 126.5 PPG

Laisser un commentaire