James Harden and the Most Efficient Scorers in the NBA
There are several players in the NBA who make things happen at both ends of the floor, but there is nothing better than the guy that can put the ball in the basket.
Even when defended by the best defenders in the league, it's always something special to watch some of the best scorers drop 30 or 40 points per night. However I'm not talking about the guy that does it by taking 30-40 shots per night, I'm looking at the guys that do it efficiently.
Some guys do it efficiently by taking good shots and doing so within the flow of the offense. They get to the free-throw line, and while they are there, these guys knock them down at a high rate.
With that being said, here's a look at the most efficient scorer on each team remaining in the NBA playoffs.
James Harden, Oklahoma City Thunder
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Everyone knows about the offensive exploits of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in the Oklahoma City offense, but it's Harden who's been the more efficient guy during the first-round sweep of the Dallas Mavericks.
Harden averaged 18.3 points per game, doing so on only 10 shot attempts per night. In the process Harden shot 50 percent from the floor, 46 percent from behind the arc and 87 percent from the charity stripe.
That's simply getting the job done and doing it in an efficient matter.
Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics
Is Garnett on his last legs?
It sure doesn't look that way as the 17-year pro has been outstanding the second half of the season, which has carried over to the postseason.
Garnett has averaged 20.1 points per game, shooting 52 percent from the floor and 90 percent from the charity stripe. He's taking around 15 shots per game and most of them are very good looks at the basket.
Add in the fact that Garnett is also pulling down 10.6 boards per game and you can see that very few players are performing at the high rate that KG is through seven postseason games.
David West, Indiana Pacers
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You would expect a guy like Danny Granger to appear on this list, but he's been shooting the ball very poorly (.383) throughout the postseason, despite averaging 19.0 points per game.
West, on the other hand, has attempted 14.2 shots per game and has made 45 percent of those attempts, also making 83 percent of his attempts from the free-throw line throughout six playoff games to date.
Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
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The Clippers have had some guys like Nick Young perform very efficiently through seven games of the postseason, but no one on the team has been as efficient as Paul throughout the course of the entire first round.
He's taken a total of 15.3 shot attempts per game and has nice percentages across the board, including 46 percent from the floor, 33 percent from behind the arc and 86 percent from the free-throw line.
Paul's averaged 20.4 points per game and the efficiency, as well as his playmaking abilities (7.1 APG) are a major reason why the Clippers have advanced to Round 2.
Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
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I know what you are thinking. Kobe's not efficient. He shoots the ball way too much.
Yet while that's known to be true, Bryant's had a very good first series of the playoffs, averaging 29.1 points while shooting 45 percent from the floor, 36 percent from behind the arc arc 80 percent from the line.
He's taken 24.6 shots per game, but his percentages have increased from the floor and from behind the arc from where he finished the regular season.
Chris Bosh, Miami Heat
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While LeBron James and Dwyane Wade may be the best Miami players, it's actually Bosh who's the most efficient Miami player.
He's taken a reasonable 10 shot attempts from the floor per game, shooting .517 from the floor while averaging a solid 14.7 points per night.
Bosh doesn't shoot many three-point shots—less than one per game—but when he lets it fly he makes it, shooting 80 percent from behind the arc. He also gets to the line on average five times per game, making 80 percent of those attempts.
We will see how much the Heat will miss Bosh now that he's out of the lineup.
Spencer Hawes, Philadelphia 76ers
On a team that has trouble scoring at times and doesn't have a real go-to scorer, the man in the middle has been as efficient as it comes for the Sixers.
Hawes takes 9.1 shots per game and knocks down 55 percent of those attempts. By comparison, no other Sixers regular is shooting over the .418 that Evan Turner is shooting from the floor.
Hawes has shot 52 percent from the floor, 50 percent from behind the arc and 76 percent from the charity stripe.
Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
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Improving from an MVP-type regular season is asking a lot, but Parker did that through the Spurs' first-round sweep of the Utah Jazz.
Parker is shooting the ball at a 50-percent clip from the floor, been perfect from behind the arc and has knocked down 76 percent of his free-throw attempts.
He's taking only 15 shot attempts per game and has made the most of those opportunities, averaging 21.0 points per game while dishing out 6.5 assists.