Fast Break Kings of NBA
ast break is an up-tempo style offensive basketball strategy where a team try to create a scoring position as quickly as possible. Since the 1996-97 season, in which NBA starts to record fast break points, %63 of 22.546 played games have been won by the teams that score more fast break points then their opponents.
In addition to its crucial importance to make games easier to be won, fast break plays also excite the spectators as they accelerate the game and change it to more enjoyable and watchable one.
The Showtime era of Los Angeles Lakers had relied on fast breaks and impacted the game so much that basketball fans still appreciate and remember it. Lakers won 5 five championships in 80s with this style of play.
Admitted its prominence, let’s dig into fast break points data and discover the leaders in those related categories:
Top 50 – Total Fast Break Points since 1996-97 season
Allen Iverson leads the campaign, but it won’t last long. Most likely in early November, LeBron James will take the lead in this category. He needs only 42 fast break point to surpass Ivy. These two players clearly deviates from the third player on the list, who is Kobe Bryant. Surprising names on the list: Jason Kidd (10), Andre Miller (13), Antoine Walker (36), Leandro Barbosa (49), Mike Miller(50).
Top 50 – Total Fast Break Points Per Game since 1996-97 Season
Both LeBron and Wall have better per game averages than Ivy who is trailed by dynamic duo of Oklahoma City Thunder. Nearly %20 of points of LeBron and %25 of points of Wall come from fast breaks. Wade is only at 10, slightly lower than expected. Surprising names on the list: Tyreke Evans (7), Kerry Kittles (11), O.J. Mayo (19), Eric Gordon (21), Gordon Hayward (42), Kyrie Irving (49)- that’s too low!
Top 50 – Best Fast Break Points Per Game (Season) Performances
AI3 recorded three of top four season averages. James Harden shined this year and got second spot. You can see all LeBron and Ivy seasons in the top 50 list! They clearly dominated the league in fast break points. Surprising names on the list: O.J. Mayo (39), Ruben Patterson (44). And also, 2010-11 season of Derrick Rose, where he was selected as the MVP, is not on the top 50.
Top 25 – 2013-14 Season Fast Break Points Per Game Leaders
Harden tops the list by a remarkable margin. More that %25 of his points came from fast breaks. Corey Brewer makes his way to top 5, which is really remarkable! The other three players of the top 5 are Westbrook, James and Durant as expected. Surprising names on the list: Jodie Meeks (10), Kent Bazemore (12), Tony Wroten (20).
Top 15 – Best Team Performances (Seasonal)
Warriors dominates the top of the list (seasons of 2006-2010 where Don Nelson was the team’s head coach and they played run-and-gun style of play); then GSW is followed by four Denver seasons. This year’s Suns also finds itself a place in the list. Surprising team on the list: 1997-98’s Toronto Raptors (9).
Top 15- Worst Team Performances (Seasonal)
Slow paced Portland, Houston and New York teams fill the list. Interestingly in this top 15, there are no teams after 2007-2008 season, thus we can deduct NBA relies more fast break plays and up-tempo game in recent years. Surprising team on the list: 2006-07 Portland (1) (6.29 fast break points per game) is way too low for that roster!
Team Fast Break Points Averages since 1996-97 Season
Nuggets, Sixers, Warriors, Suns and Mavs compose the top 5, and these teams are also known with their run-and-gun style of plays in recent years. Almost more that %15 of their points come from the fast breaks. At the last place, we are seeing the Knicks and its fast break points percentage is less than %10.
Top 30 – Best Individual Fast Break Points Performances
Corey Brewer take the lead with 27 fast break points in his career game where he scored 51 points! Gordon Hawyard, scored 20 of his 24 points on fast breaks against Lakers on last christmas. There only one game each of AI3 and LeBron on this list, it is lower than expected since we know they are the fast break kings of NBA. But this also proves fast breaks are natural components of their sytle of play and they regularly and consistently find points from fast breaks.