Consistency is one of the hardest things to find in NBA players, especially on the offensive end of the floor, where coaches need to trust that players can deliver regardless of who they’re playing against.
And, even though defense wins championships, scoring is also a huge part of the game of basketball, so having consistent scorers on your team will give you a bigger shot at winning games.
Over the course of history, just a handful of players have been able to consistently score over 20 points throughout an entire season, regardless of their age and who they have to share the ball with. Today, we’re going to name the only 7 players that have never averaged less than 20 points per game:
7. Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic has only been in the league for a full season so perhaps we must take this with a grain of salt, but there’s no reason to believe he’s not going to be able to replicate his successful rookie year throughout his entire career.
Doncic averaged 21.2 points per game on 42% shooting and 32% from beyond the arc and he showed a lot of versatility. Step-backs, drop-steps, and even some nice moves in the post, so he’s got a lot of tools to continue being a solid scorer for many years to come.
6. Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell didn’t regress during his sophomore season as several people expected and he continued to embrace his role as the leader of the Utah Jazz despite being one of the youngest players on the team.
Mitchell is already a solid volume scorer and has averaged 22.1 points on 43% shooting and 35% from three during his first two seasons in the NBA, and Mike Conley’s presence next to him is only going to make him better going forward.
5. Joel Embiid
It’s crazy to think that Joel Embiid didn’t start playing basketball until he was 15, so that tells you a lot about the god-given talent he has and how high his ceiling is if he finds the way to stay healthy.
Embiid is a dominant scorer in the post and has elite footwork. You can tell he studied a lot of Hakeem Olajuwon film and continues to add more weapons to his arsenal. He’s one of the few players that can hit you with a smooth euro step despite being 7’0’’, and he’s averaged 24.3 points on 48% shooting through 3 years in the NBA.
4. Bob Pettit
Bob Pettit was the first winner of the MVP award thanks to his ability to put a lot of points on the scoreboard. He dominated the league for 11 seasons and even led it in scoring twice in 1956 and 1959.
Pettit never averaged less than 20.4 points (his rookie year) while also dominating both sides of the glass, holding the 3rd highest rebound-per-game average trailing only Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain. Throughout his career, he averaged 26.4 points and 16.2 rebounds.
3. Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant has been a walking bucket since entering the league, and his rookie season average of 20.3 is the lowest scoring average he’s ever had for an entire season, so the fact that he’s been able to score that way for 12 years is quite impressive.
Durant won 3 straight scoring titles and won the first of them just in his third year in the league. He’s had two seasons averaging 30+ points per game and he could’ve had even more if he hadn’t joined the Golden State Warriors. So far, he’s averaged 27.0 points per game on 49/38/88 shooting.
2. LeBron James
If we talk about consistency we must talk about LeBron James, who has dominated the league for 16 straight years and is entering his 17th season as sharp as ever thanks to the way he has taken care of his body.
LeBron’s lowest scoring average for a full season was 20.9 (rookie year) and he won the Scoring Title in 2008 after averaging 30.0 points per game but what’s most impressive about him is how much of an efficient scorer he is. Over his career, he’s averaged 27.2 points on 50.4%, which is crazy for a perimeter player.
1. Michael Jordan
And obviously, the greatest scorer to ever set foot on the face of earth also makes this list, as Jordan was able to continue lighting up opposing defenses both times he came back from retirement, even at age 39.
Jordan hadn’t been in the league for 2 years and still, he averaged 22.9, and 20.0 points per game during his sting with the Wizards, which were 2 of his 3 lowest scoring averages ever. Up to this day, he holds the record for most Scoring Titles (10) and the highest point-per-game average ever with 30.14.