Point production is one of the most reliable statistics for fantasy owners to predict.
Superstar players score buckets at consistent rates.
Since the 1986-87 season, a span of 26 seasons, only 10 players have led the league in total points scored.
The 1986-87 season also marked the last time a player truly dominated the league.
Three games into Jordan’s sophomore season, he broke a bone in his left foot and was limited to just 18 games all year.
The following season, he submitted one of the greatest individual scoring efforts the league has ever seen.
Jordan started all 82 games, averaged 37.1 points on 48.2 percent shooting from the field and joined the exclusive club even though he connected on just 12 3-pointers during the entire season.
The Bulls needed his heroics, as Chicago posted a 22-15 when Jordan scored 40 or more points.
During the 14 games when he failed to surpass the 30-point plateau, the Bulls won just three times.
Chicago scored 104.8 points per game, 20th out of a 23 team league as the rest of the team managed 5,555 points for the entire season.
The next highest scorer on the team, forward Charles Oakley, averaged 14.5 points per game and totaled 1,192 points.
Jordan accounted for 35.4 percent of the team’s total points on the year, a figure that was only challenged once ever since.
No team is going to rely on a single player the way the Bulls did in 1986-87, but with a handful of dominant scorers available, fantasy owners can still expect a potent scoring punch from the league’s All-Star players.
*The graphs below display each players point total in every game during the 2012-13 season and all are from NBA.com/stats.
1. Kevin Durant– Oklahoma City Thunder
Durant has led the league in total points scored each of the past four seasons, collecting three scoring crowns along the way. A prolific shooter from nearly every spot on the floor. If the 24-year-old puts on a truly dominant scoring performance this season, pouring in over 2,700 points, he can become the fastest player ever to score 15,000 points in league history.
2. Carmelo Anthony– New York Knicks
Anthony became just the second player in New York’s franchise history to lead the league in scoring, pouring in 28.7 points per game. The addition of the 3-point shot as a viable weapon made Anthony nearly unstoppable, as he converted 157 attempts from 3-point range, 62 more than any of his previous 10 years in the league. The 6-foot-8 forward converted from 3-point range 39 times in the eight games he scored 40 or more points.
3. James Harden– Houston Rockets
There were no secrets to his game, as Harden would continually slash to the basket, hoping to convert a layup, draw a foul or get a combination of the two. Harden attempted 1,377 shots last year, 588 of those came at the rim. No player attempted more than his 792 free throws and he was able to convert 85.1 percent of those. Harden is still a viable scoring option, but fantasy owners will need to determine of Dwight Howard’s presence will deter him from continually attacking the basket.
4. Stephen Curry– Golden State Warriors
One glorious night in Madison Square Garden made Curry a star and he continued to deliver. Curry’s 54 point explosion against the Knicks triggered a scoring binge that continued for the rest of the regular season and extended into the playoffs. During the 24 games that followed his performance in New York, Curry averaged 25 points to close out the regular season then averaged 23.4 points in 12 playoff appearances.
5. Kobe Bryant– Los Angeles Lakers
The last time the Lakers faced low expectations heading into the season, Bryant became the most dominant scorer the league has seen since Michael Jordan. During the 2005-06 season, Bryant nearly joined the 3,000 point club, scoring 2,832 points, accounting for 34.7 percent of the Lakers points on the year. Bryant is still a scoring force, averaging 27.1 points per game as he submitted his eighth career 2,000 point season last year. Without a return date set from a torn Achilles heel, it’s tough to predict how much he will produce during the 2013-14 season.
6. LeBron James– Miami Heat
James sent the ball through the net 765 times last season, marking the fourth time in his career he led the league in total field goals. The four-time MVP played his most efficient season ever, converting 56.5 percent of his attempts from the field, fifth best in the league and 40.6 percent of his 3-pointers, both marks were the highest of his 10-year career.
7. Kyrie Irving– Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland anticipates on snapping a three-year playoff drought this season and to fulfill those expectations, Irving will have to submit an MVP caliber season. The 21-year-old earned his first All-Star nomination last season, averaging 22.5 points per game but was only able to play in 59 games, as shoulder and knee injuries preventing him from carrying the Cavaliers into the post season.
8. Russell Westbrook– Oklahoma City Thunder
With 5:34 remaining the second quarter in Game 2 of the opening round of the playoffs, Patrick Beverley lunged for the ball as Westbrook was trying to call a timeout. A collision between the two briefly hobbled the three-time All-Star point guard, but he still managed to pour in 29 points in over 37 minutes of play. The injury was a first for Westbrook, as he has previously played in every regular season and playoff game for Oklahoma City since being selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.
9. LaMarcus Aldridge– Portland Trail Blazers
Only nine players scored over 20 points per game last season and Aldridge’s 21.1 points per game marked the third consecutive season he was able to achieve the feat. Despite being named a Western Conference All-Star for the second consecutive season, Aldridge has been frustrated about his role in the organization and stopped just short of making a trade demand.
10. Damian Lillard– Portland Trail Blazers
The Trail Blazers gave Lillard every opportunity to create on offense and he delivered. The Rookie of the Year logged 3,167 minutes last season, more than any other player in the league and poured in 1,562 points in his debut season. The 23-year-old totaled 20 more more points on 41 occasions and saved his best for elite competition. Lillard scored 30 or more points five times, and all came against playoff teams: Lakers (38), Warriors (37), Spurs (35), Heat (33) and Nuggets (30).