Single-Season and Career Milestones Reached in 2013-14 NBA Season
Another NBA regular season is in the books. And this one was packed with history.
Several teams and individuals reached milestones and broke records that will make this season one we should remember for a long time.
And that's just a few.
In case you can't remember all the history that was made in 2013-14, we at Bleacher Report are here to put it all together in one handy slideshow for you.
Kevin Durant Channels the Greats
In what should be his first MVP campaign, Kevin Durant dominated the entire league in a way few others have.
In fact, only three others have. And I'm guessing you've heard of them:
Kevin Durant: trying to become 4th player in NBA to avg at least 32 pts, 7 rebounds and 5 assists in season (Baylor, Wilt x 2, Jordan)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 16, 2014
That's right. Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan and Elgin Baylor are the only other players in NBA history who've put up the kind of numbers Durant did this year.
So much for this guy being just a scorer.
The Grizzlies Protect Their Territory
After starting the season 15-19, the Memphis Grizzlies turned things around on the way to a 50-win campaign.
The last one came on the final night of the regular season when the Grizz rode "Grit 'n' Grind" to an overtime victory over the Mavericks that secured the No. 7 seed in the West.
That win was Memphis' 13th straight at home:
Grizzlies: won 13 consecutive HOME games, tied for their longest single-season streak in franchise history (won 13 straight last season)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 16, 2014
Now, the Grizzlies will have a chance to continue their comeback season with a shot at a first-round upset against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Stephen Curry Becomes 1st Player Ever to Hit 250 3-Pointers in Multiple Seasons
We've never witnessed anyone torch the net from three-point range the way Stephen Curry has the last two years.
After breaking the NBA record for threes made in a single season in 2012-13 with 272, Curry became the first player ever to hit 250 in multiple seasons in 2013-14:
Steph Curry becomes the first player in NBA history with 250 3-pt FG in multiple seasons.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 14, 2014
Curry's excellence from outside isn't just impressing us fans. The best scorer in the world has gone so far as to say Golden State's sniper is the best shooter ever:
Chris Paul Leads the League in Assists and Steals Per Game for the 3rd Time
Chris Paul is truly in a league of his own.
By leading the league in both assists and steals per game for the third time in his career, he's accomplished something that John Stockton and Magic Johnson never did:
Several years from now, when people are debating who was the best point guard the NBA's ever seen, CP3 will have that little nugget in his back pocket.
Paul Pierce Scores 1,000 Points for the 15th Straight Season
It's too bad Ponce de Leon didn't know Paul Pierce—because apparently, the 36-year-old wing from the Brooklyn Nets found the Fountain of Youth a few years back.
In his 16th NBA season, Pierce has managed to top 1,000 points for the 15th time in a row. The only season he didn't reach that plateau was when he was a rookie and only played in 48 games.
Pierce became just the 6th player in @NBA history to score 1,000+PTS in 15 straight seasons (Kareem, K.Malone, Havlicek, E.Hayes, R.Parish)— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) April 16, 2014
Pierce now looks to employ his scoring skills in the postseason in a first-round matchup with the Toronto Raptors.
Carmelo Anthony Joins Larry Bird
The New York Knicks and their fans haven't had much to be excited about this season, but their best player was as dominant as ever.
So much so, that he's joined a club that previously had only one member:
Larry Bird and @carmeloanthony are the only qualified players in NBA history to average 27 Pts & 8 Reb while shooting 40% from 3 in season.— Numbers Never Lie (@ESPN_Numbers) April 16, 2014
That's right purists, Carmelo Anthony is now in the company of Larry Bird. I can't wait to tell my dad about this one.
Philadelphia 76ers Lose 26 Straight
The Philadelphia 76ers nearly broke a record during this season filled with talk of tanking.
Their 26 straight losses tied the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers for the worst such streak in league history.
According to Brandon Parker of The Washington Post, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the streak was "bad for everyone."
Well, it may not be so bad for the 76ers themselves if they wind up with Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker this summer.
Joakim Noah Becomes 9th Player with 400 Assists and 100 Blocks in a Season
Joakim Noah may have created a new position this season, or at least resurrected one.
MT@KCJHoop: Noah is 9th player in NBA history (and 3rd Bull) to post at least 400 assists and 100 blocks in a season. MJ, Pip other Bulls.— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) April 12, 2014
Take a look at the list here:
As you can see, Garnett leads the group. But he hasn't gone for 400 and 100 since 2005. Noah showed us something we haven't seen in nearly a decade.
Worst Season in Los Angeles Lakers History
The 2013-14 Los Angeles Lakers lost 55 games.
If the title of the slide didn't already give this away, that would be the most losses any Lakers team has ever posted.
The previous worst for an 82-game season came from the 1974-75 squad that went 30-52.
All the losing has led to some speculation over whether or not coach Mike D'Antoni will be back. He can take comfort in the fact that Nick "Swaggy P" Young is in his corner.
According to ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin, Young said:
I think he handled everything well. He came in on a bad situation -- getting picked over Phil Jackson. He already had a target on his back. So I think he handled all that well. From the boos and 'Fire D'Antoni!' I think he still comes in here with a smile and you can't ask for nothing more from Mike D'Antoni.
Whether that endorsement effects anything remains to be seen. Either way, we're surely in for a fun offseason in Lakerland.
Steve Nash Passes Mark Jackson for 3rd on the All-Time Assists Leaderboard
Steve Nash appeared in just 15 games this season, dishing out a grand total of 86 assists.
No, it doesn't sound like much, but it was just enough to put him in sole possession of third place on the all-time assists leaderboard:
Nash to Meeks again. Fast Break dunk. puts Steve Nash alone in 3rd place on NBA all-time assist list. Big smile from Nash.— J.A. Adande (@jadande) April 9, 2014
Nerve and back problems held Nash out for most of this season, but at least he was able to smile about that moment.
Third is likely where he'll finish his career, as he's still 1,756 dimes behind Jason Kidd. Nash would have to play all 82 games and average 21.5 assists in the final year of his current deal to pass Kidd.
So yeah, he won't get there.
But that shouldn't take away from the incredible accomplishment of handing out more assists than all but two players in NBA history.
Dirk Nowitzki Passes Big O for 10th on the All-Time Scoring Leaderboard
Dirk Nowitzki ist mein Lieblingspieler.
That was one of the first sentences I asked to learn in my junior high German class. It means "Dirk Nowitzki is my favorite player."
This season included yet another historic moment in the career of "mein Lieblingspieler," as he surpassed Oscar Robertson for 10th place on the NBA's all-time scoring leaderboard:
If Dirk plays 82 games next season and averages 20 points, he'll pass Moses Malone for seventh all time and be within striking distance of Shaquille O'Neal.
Gordon Hayward Joins Pistol Pete
It was a rocky season for the Utah Jazz and leading scorer Gordon Hayward, who struggled to hit shots consistently.
But there was a silver lining in the form of Hayward's versatility. He joined "Pistol" Pete Maravich as the only other Jazz player to average 16 points, five rebounds and five assists for an entire season.
Now the organization has to determine just how much that kind of versatility is worth. As a restricted free agent, Hayward will get to test the open market, but Utah will have the right to match any offer he signs.
LeBron James' Field-Goal Percentage Goes Up Again
Thanks in part to the dominance of Kevin Durant, we may not have given LeBron James the credit he deserves this season.
For the seventh straight year, he's managed to improve his field-goal percentage:
Another LeBron end-of-season note: Improved FG% for seventh straight year, which is absurd.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) April 14, 2014
What's more, LeBron's 2013-14 marks the only time in NBA history that a player has shot better than 56 percent from the field while taking four threes a game.
Kevin Durant Scores at Least 25 in 41 Straight Games
No player in the NBA scores more efficiently, easily or consistently than Kevin Durant.
He added more evidence of all that this season, when he scored at least 25 points in a whopping 41 straight games:
.@KDTrey5's streak of 25+points extends to 41 games, passing MJ's 40 for the longest in the last 50 years— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) April 7, 2014
The only streak longer than Durant's 41 is Wilt Chamberlain's 80. But in this era, Durant is unparalleled as a scorer.
Not a Single Spur Plays 30 Minutes a Game
One of the reasons the San Antonio Spurs are title favorites is their incredible depth.
I don't know if it's Gregg Popovich extracting the most possible production and potential out of each guy, or if the Spurs have 10 or 11 really good players, or a little of both, but this team's depth made history this season:
The Spurs will be the first team since the ABA-NBA merger not to have a single player average 30 minutes per game.— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) April 15, 2014
Think about that for a minute. The Spurs who play the most are on the floor for just over two quarters. And the team has the best record in the league.
It doesn't matter who's available, who's feeling it, who's off. No matter what, the five guys on the floor execute with precision and often make the opposition look foolish.
Clippers Break the Franchise Record for Wins in a Season
As the crosstown rival Lakers wallowed in ineptitude, the Los Angeles Clippers posted their best season in franchise history, breaking a record they set last year:
Several players have taken steps forward this season under the tutelage of new head coach Doc Rivers, whose championship pedigree makes the Clips a legitimate title threat.
Kevin Love Starts the 2,000, 900, 100 Club
Kevin Love is dominating in a way we've never seen before.
Never has a player been so productive as both a rebounder and three-point shooter:
And on top of that, he's a great passer too:
Love will be the first player since the NBA/ABA merger to average 26/12/4 in a season.— Jim Petersen (@JimPeteHoops) April 17, 2014
People who try discount his accomplishments because he's never been to the playoffs can't argue with the numbers. Basketball is a team sport, and Love is doing his part.
Raptors Break the Franchise Record for Wins in a Season
The Clippers weren't the only squad making team history this season.
The Toronto Raptors also broke a franchise record for wins, going 48-34 on their way to the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference:
.@Raptors set a new franchise record for wins (48). A big reason why? Their closing ability. They rank 1st in 4thQ NetRating (+12.0)— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) April 15, 2014
And their closing ability wasn't the only reason for the winning:
Despite tonight's loss, the Raptors finished w/ the East's best record since the Rudy Gay trade (42-22).— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) April 17, 2014
The old addition by subtraction trick, eh?
It worked great for the Raptors, who were clearly more cohesive after dealing their top shot-taker to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for role players.
Now the question is whether or not these young Raptors can continue their Cinderella season beyond the first round.
They're saddled with a tough opening matchup against the Brooklyn Nets, who've turned their own season around.
Andy Bailey covers the NBA for Bleacher Report.