Friday, April 12, 2013

50 posts? It's time to celebrate!

Today marks Volume Shooters' 50th post on this site. Don't worry - we're surprised we made it this far as well.  To honor ourselves, and because the playoffs are right around the corner, we're looking back at some of the top moments from the 2012-2013 NBA season.

50 point performances

Jack: What better way to start things off than by commemorating our 50th post than by examining the best 50-point efforts from this season? (Side note: In an attempt to include more games and players I thought about making it players scoring 45+ in a game. Turns out this would only expand the field from 3 performances to 9, and from 3 players to 6.  You can see the list here. My take-away is that Carmelo Anthony and James Harden have clearly been out to prove things this season - Carmelo that he can still perform while being hung over lead a team to success at the highest level, and Harden that you should always fear the beard. Anyway...) Only three times has the 50-point mark been eclipsed this season - here's my ranking of those performances:

(3) Kevin Durant - January 11, 2013: 52 points (@ the Dallas Mavericks)
Scoring 50 points is memorable, regardless of who it is or when they do it. Yet despite scoring the second most points in a game this season, KD ranks third on this list. Why? Well for starters he's Kevin Durant. He scores a lot. The fact that he put up 52 points is admirable doesn't really surprise anyone - he's in a fierce battle for the scoring title with another player on this list. Not to mention 21 of his points came from the free throw line (although I will give him mad props for going 21-for-21 from the line).  KD also took the most shots of anyone on this list (31) and shot by far the lowest percentage (41%). While he did pull down 9 rebounds, he only had 1 assist, he was playing the Dallas Patchy-Beards, and he slapped a fan in the face.  Just kidding - if that were real there's be a gif of it below.

(2) Carmelo Anthony - April 2, 2013: 50 points (@ the Miami Heat)
Despite scoring fewer points than KD, Melo comes in second on this list for three big reasons: (a) he did it against the best team in the league (that also happens to be their greatest competition in the playoffs), (b) he shot almost 70% on both three pointers AND field goals, while not taking a single shot inside the paint, and (c) he's four years older than the other players on this list!

Oh wait I forgot to mention that he only played for 40 minutes while Durant used nearly 50 minutes of game time! Dang it, I always forget important points when I'm making a list.

(1) Stephen Curry - February 27, 2013: 54 points (@ Madison Square Garden and the New York Basketball Knicks)
Davidson bias? Perhaps. But did Curry actually put up a remarkable performance? Yes. And was it in the greatest basketball venue on the planet? Yes.

Not only did Curry put up the most points on this list, and not only did he shoot 64% from the field, and not only did he shoot 11-FOR-13 FROM THREE (including just a couple of "no way no way no way YES!!!" shots), but he did everything else he could to help his team, finishing with 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals. The full highlights are below, but if you're feeling anxious to get on to the other parts of this's what I suggest you watch: his 3 pointer at 0:49, Mike Woodson's face at 1:06, another 3 at 2:25, a deep three at 2:50, a rainbow three at 3:10, his read of the double team (how often do teams double team a guard that far away from the basket just to keep him from shooting) and the pass he makes out of it at 3:41, and the pull up and celebration at 3:54. Enjoy.


As the resident Volume Shooters GIF expert, mainly because of my research on that assclown Javale McGee, I have the honor of bringing you the top 3 NBA GIFs of the year. Without further ado:

(3): Marc Gasol commits a foul with his shoe
This has to be the funniest GIF of the year, which is why I gave it the 3 spot. Props to Marc for actually almost stripping the ball with his unconventional defense! Who throws a shoe, honestly?

(2): Lebron James murders Jason Terry
This dunk was so vicious in real time - the look that Lebron gave Terry after slamming it home says, "I am the best basketball player on Earth. Get the f*ck out of my way next time."

Even better - some guy actually edited Terry's wikipedia page to say that he had passed away after this dunk. Unfortunately it has since been removed:

(1) DeAndre Jordan erases the very existence of Brandon Knight
Oh my dear lord. The bench reaction says it all - just absolute domination of another man. Poor Brandon Knight might never be the same. Look where DeAndre catches the ball relative to the rim! Just freaking unbelievable. The dunk of the year for sure.

Volume Shooting Performances

Paul: What better way to end the 50th post on Volume Shooters than by looking at the very best Volume Shooting performances of the year? This year the league was actually slightly more judicious with their attempts, shooting 45.3% from the field overall, up about half a percent from the prior year. Despite that, there were still a number of astounding displays of gunning (and I'll only focus on the negative side of volume shooting since Jack already covered the best examples above). Here we go:

(3): Jason Terry, December 21, MIL vs. BOS - 1 for 15
For Jason Terry in this game, it wasn't the outrageous quantity of his volume shooting, but the quality. Not only did he manage to go 1 for 15 from the field in 32 minutes, but he only recorded one other statistic all game: an assist. That's right, Terry managed to amass just one assist, zero rebounds, zero steals, zero fouls, zero turnovers and zero blocks in his 32 minutes. Did he ever cross either three point line? Apparently yes, because 6 of those field goal attempts came from inside the line - not that he made any of them or anything crazy. You probably don't need further convincing of his ineptitude, but his offensive rating (average is 103) was 34. That means if he used 100 possessions trying to score, he would have scored 34 points. 

The academy approves.

(2): Kobe Bryant, December 22, LAL vs. GSW - 16 for 41
As we have come to learn while updating the VSOTD, nobody shoots in bunches like the Black Mamba. This is one eye test that is definitely confirmed, and he had a particularly aggressive performance on this evening, getting up a few weeks worth of shots for most other players. Kobe is so skilled and has such supreme self-confidence that he has nights where he might as well be the only player on the court. But hey, when you are playing with chumps like Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard, you've pretty much got to shoot 41 times a night right? Oh wait...

Craziest part of that game? The Lakers won. I will now light myself on fire. 

(1): Jrue Holiday, April 3, PHI vs. CHA - 2 for 24
OK, we know that Philly was decimated by a combination of terrible personnel decisions, a coach giving up on his team, and...well...whatever Andrew Bynum did this year. Jrue Holiday was pretty much their only decent player all year, so he needed to shoulder more than his fair share on offense. But 2 for 24 is a truly historic volume shooting performance. We'll repeat what we said about a week ago: nobody has ever shot that many field goals in a game and made less than 4. Nobody has ever made 2 or fewer FGs and shot more than 21. In the immortal words of Charles Barkley, "Thats T-R-B-L turrible."

The force is strong with young Mr. Holiday

That's a wrap for today! Thanks for following us thus far, don't forget to look up @VolumeShooters on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and keep tuning in for more updates!

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