Most Impressive Career-Highs of 2012-13 NBA Season
Watching NBA players chase themselves is one of the game's most entertaining past times.
Much of this season has been dedicated to watching teams chasing other teams, players chasing history and other players. A select few (okay, just Kevin Durant) have even taken to chasing LeBron James.
Not enough has been made of the numerous career-highs we've bore witness to this season, though.
From 50-point outings, to ferocious block parties, to some serious dime-dropping, plenty of players have outdone themselves this year. Literally.
We're not necessarily talking about rookies and sophomores (though in some cases we are) setting personal bests. Seasoned veterans have gotten in on the groundbreaking fiesta as well.
Which of these career-highs were the most impressive?
There may be no greater feeling than that of out-performing your opponent, but outshining yourself is a very close second.
*All stats used in this article were compiled from Basketball-Reference, Synergy Sports and 82Games.com unless otherwise noted.
Klay Thompson Goes Bonkers from Deep
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Klay Thompson is one of those sophomores I alluded to previously, but there's nothing asterisk worthy about his career-high seven 3-pointers against the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Golden State Warriors' second-year volume scorer shot an unconscious 7-of-12 from behind the arc, tallying 29 total points.
Knowing that the Warriors went onto lose the game renders Thompson's achievement a bittersweet occasion, but still, he was Stephen Curry-like (spoiler) from deep in that one.
Not that this cancels out the loss, but Thompson's 3-point barrage made him just the 43rd player NBA player since 1985 to connect on seven threes in a single-game before his 24th birthday.
Not bad, kid.
Nikola Vucevic's Rebounding Extravaganza
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At first, I was inclined to leave Nikola Vucevic'sn career-high 29 boards because he was a sophomore. Realizing I gave Klay Thompson his due, here he is.
Vucevic hoarded 29 rebounds in a loss against the Miami Heat, 11 of which were offensive. To put that into perspective, that was two more offensive boards than Miami's finest grabbed combined.
His 29 boards also rendered him just the 11th player since 1985 to grab 25 or more rebounds in a single-game before his 23rd birthday. That puts him in the same company as Dwight Howard, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal, among others.
Which is fitting, because this was a very Howard-esque performance for the 22-year-old Vucevic.
Kevin Durant Being Kevin Durant
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Truthfully, seeing Kevin Durant set a new career-high in points isn't exactly surprising, but that doesn't make it any less impressive.
Just 18 days into 2013, Durant torched the Dallas Mavericks for 52 points, surpassing his previous career-high of 51.
It took the Durantula 50 minutes and 31 shots to eclipse that mark, but hey, 50-plus points is 50-plus points. Also, despite shooting just 13-of-31 from the field, he hit on 5-of-9 from downtown and all 21 of his free throws.
See? Even when Durant's not especially efficient, he's still efficient.
That he led the Oklahoma City Thunder to an overtime victory should count for something as well.
LeBron James Dishes His Way to a Personal Best
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If you're LeBron James, you might get bored with making league-wide history. After all, you're in a class all of your own.
So what better way to satiate your craving for dethroning the best than by unseating yourself?
In the Miami Heat's double-overtime win against the Sacramento Kings, James did just that.
For those that point to the two overtimes in pursuit of discrediting his performance, I turn a deaf ear and blind eye. It doesn't matter how many minutes (48) it took, because this was still incredible.
It was also further proof that roughly 10 years into his career LeBron continues to do outdo both the competition and himself.
Roy Hibbert's Blocking Brigade
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Even if only for one game, Roy Hibbert lived up to his $55 million contract (sort of).
Against the New Orleans Hornets (Pelicans!), Hibbert swatted 11 shots en route to posting a triple-double the hard way.
Sure, he shot just 3-of-12 from the field, but those 11 blocks nearly doubled a previous career-high of six.
The going hasn't been easy for Hibbert this season, what with him shooting just 42.6 percent from the field and all, but he's showed signs of life when protecting the rim on numerous occasions.
None more illustrious or defining than this one.
Brandon Jennings Does His Best Point Guard Impersonation
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Brandon Jennings is going to be searching (begging?) for a max contract this summer, and his quest for further opulence could only be helped by a few more performances like the one against the Toronto Raptors.
Connecting on just 25 percent of his shots, Jennings put on a distributional clinic. He laid down a career-high 19 assists in 45 minutes, propelling the Milwaukee Bucks to victory over Canada's finest.
Would it have also been nice to see Jennings score more than 11 points?
Of course, but for a point guard who is often looked at as an undersized, trigger-happy shooting guard, this particular display spoke volumes about his potential. I'd imagine it'll help his sales pitch this summer, too.
Joakim Noah's Shot Blocking Craze
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There are only a handful of players in today's NBA who could post a quadruple-double, and Joakim Noah is one of them.
As an improving scorer, fierce glass-crasher and deft passer, Noah is one of the few bigs who is a nightly triple-double. If he can ever sync up those attributes on the same night when he blocks 11 shots like he did against the Sixers, then that quadruple-double becomes a possibility.
Noah's previous career-high was eight blocks, but he decided to take his shot-swatting stylings to a different level against Philadelphia. Like Roy Hibbert, he too rattled off a triple-double to complement his 11 blocks.
Had he only dished out nine more assists and/or forced seven more steals, we'd be bowing down before that eccentric haircut of his.
Tyson Chandler Hits the Glass...a Lot
There was a time when I criticized the New York Knicks for latching onto Tyson Chandler, and I have since eaten my words more times than former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike Brown has visited Chick-fil-A.
Though I'm obviously no longer against him donning orange and blue, I continued to eat my sentiments as I watched Chandler hoard a career-best 28 rebounds against the Warriors.
As one of just 10 players (not including Rajon Rondo) averaging a double-double, Chandler's rebounding prowess hardly surprises us. Still, 28 is absurd.
Also absurd were the 10 offensive rebounds he grabbed that same game, which were exactly double what Golden State snagged.
Keep on trucking, Tyson.
Manu Ginobili Goes All Tony Parker
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No Tony Parker? No problem.
Parker sprained his left ankle in a March 1 bout against the Sacramento Kings causing Manu Ginobili to step-up his play-making that same game.
Ginobili dished out a career-high 15 assists, leading the San Antonio Spurs to a 130-102 route of the tumultuous Kings.
The real story here, though, is that Ginobili dealt out those 15 times in just 23 minutes.
Since 1985, just 10 players can say they've handed out 15 or more assists in 25 or fewer minutes, putting him in the company of Magic Johnson, Doc Rivers, John Stockton and Rajon Rondo, among others.
He's also just the 10th player since 1985 to dish out 15 or more assists in a single-game over the age of 35.
Not bad, Manu. Not bad at all.
Stephen Curry Shimmies His Way to History
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We all knew Stephen Curry could shoot the lights out of the building, we just didn't know he could do so while busting out such killer dance moves.
Curry gave the Knicks and the rest of Madison Square Garden a heaping taste of what they missed out on when the Warriors took him off the board one spot before New York at the 2007 NBA draft.
Golden State's shooting guard knocked down a career-high 11 3-pointers on his way to scoring a career-best 54 points.
Though the Warriors ultimately fell victim to Raymond Felton and Carmelo Anthony's late game heroics, Curry forever left his imprint on the world's most famous arena.
Becoming the first player in the NBA (since 1985) to drop 50 points while also connecting on at least 10 deep-balls will do that for you.