Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers: They are usually the deciding factor in the outcome of almost every game, regardless of sport. It's quite simple: If you give the rock away too many times, your chances of coming out victorious slowly begin to spiral down the drain. Hold on to the rock, however, and your chances of strutting jovially off the court greatly increase.
You made be surprised at home many superstar players made the list. I certainly was. But I suppose it stands to reason that players who handle the rock more often ultimately have more opportunities to fumble it away. So it goes.
Also, while it's possible that the turnover is a overrated statistic in some instances, in other instances it can be quite telling. You be the judge of when it is (or isn't) valuable.
Anyway, here is goes: the 10 worst turnover machines in the NBA.
Note: This list features the 10 NBA players with the highest turnovers per 48 minutes average (or TOP48). All players featured average at least 30 minutes per game.
Stephen Jackson has bounced around the league quite a bit after being drafted by the Nets in 2000. He’s played for seven teams in his 11-year career, the most recent being the Milwaukee Bucks, the team he landed on to start the 2011 season.
Jackson averages 4.8 turnovers per 48 minutes, an average that coach Larry Krystkowiak can’t be too pleased with—especially since he’s only scoring about 13 points per game, his lowest output since his 2001-02 campaign with the Spurs.
The Celtics slow start to the 2011-12 campaign can be blamed on a number of shortcomings, but Pierce's high turnover rate (4.8/48 minutes) is certainly one of the main culprits. If Pierce keeps up the pace he's currently on, he will have tallied about 276 turnovers by season's end—a mark that would be his worst since he led the league with 303 in 2005-06.
Also, he is slouching in other areas of his game, averaging only 17.8 points per contest (the lowest since his rookie campaign) and shooting an un-Pierce like 43 percent from the field.
It’s never a sunny portent when a team’s two star players are turning the ball over this frequently. The Celtics’ Rajon Rondo is averaging 5.1 turnovers per 48 minutes and 3.8 per game—both stats the worst of his six-year career.
However, unlike Pierce, Rondo has compensated for his high turnover numbers to a certain extent. The 25-year-old is averaging exactly 15 points per game (the highest of his career), despite suffering an early-season wrist injury.
Oklahoma City has stormed out to a 16-4 record this season, thanks in part to stellar play by the long-armed Durant (26.8 PPG). Yet his 5.1 TOP48 average puts him at No. 7 on this list.
However, most of Durant's turnovers can be pinned on his tendency to push the envelope, or the fact that he handles the ball more than any other player on his squad. As long as the Thunder keep winning, we think the fans in Oklahoma City will be able to live with Durant's turnovers.
James is averaging 5.1 TOP48 this season, dead even with Kevin Durant and Rajon Rondo. James' penchant for turnovers should be an easy pill to swallow for Heat fans, seeing as the King is currently playing some of the best basketball of his career. He's shooting over 40 percent from the field, over 50 percent from behind the arc and the Heat are a cool 11 games above .500. All is well in Miami.
Fun fact: On two separate occasions LeBron has tallied 10 turnovers in a playoff game—2006 against the Wizards and again in 2008 against the Celtics. The NBA playoff record is 11, set by John Williamson in 1979.
In his third year out of Davidson, Wendell Stephen Curry III ranks fifth in the league with 5.2 TOP48. Don't expect that number to trend downward anytime soon—with the Warriors resting six games below .500, Curry may be pressed into forcing plays that just aren't there.
While it might be tempting to brush Curry's somewhat mild turnover problem under the rug, let us not forget that this isn't the first time that the young guard has been stricken with a case of butterfingers. Over a two-game stretch during last year's preseason, Curry gave the ball away an eye-popping 14 times. He was subsequently benched during the fourth quarter of the second game.
Steve Nash is best known as one of the NBA's all-time great assist men, but there's no hiding the fact that he's quite prone to fumbling the rock (5.3 TOP48). In fact, he currently ranks 16th in NBA history with 3,155 turnovers. It's likely he'll rise to the 14th slot before season's end, right in front of Scottie Pippen and just in front of Allen Iverson.
Fun fact: Steve Nash has led the league in turnovers twice during his 16-year career (2007-08, 2009-10).
In three full seasons of play Westbrook has led the league in turnovers twice. If Westbrook (5.5 TOP48 this season) continues the pace that he's currently on for the rest of his career, it's very likely that he will pass Steve Nash (and many others, for that matter) on the all-time turnovers list. In fact, if he plays just another 10 seasons, he will rank seventh all time on that much-sought-after list.
As expected, the Wizards are absolutely dismal so far this season, and John Wall certainly hasn't done much to straighten out the ship. Sure, he's averaged 16 points per game, but he's only shooting 39 percent from the field, 10 percent from behind the arc and he's averaging 5.5 TOP48. In fact, the second-year man out of Kentucky currently leads the league with an eye-popping 88 giveaways.
Congratulations, Mr. Williams, on being named NBA's first-ranked turnover machine! Without a doubt you're absolutely smitten to receive such reputable honor. Sure, there are other players in the league that have turned the ball over more consistently and over a longer period of time, but as of now, you sir are leading the league with 5.7 TOP48.
Enjoy the distinction while you can, for there are many other slippery-handed men just waiting to snatch the first-place spot out of your finger tips. That is, if they can hold onto it.