2020 has certainly been a year to remember, for good and for worse. This has been an eventful year filled with challenges that many thought that we would never see in a lifetime. Nonetheless, the year is coming to an end and it is time to revisit some of the most memorable moments in the NBA this past season. The NBA Finals are around the corner, and the regular season had some very important moments in NBA history.
There were 6 major records broken this season involving the league’s best players and teams, and some of them might stand the test of time. In a year to remember, here are the records that were broken during the 2019-2020 NBA season.
6. Luka Doncic
Most Consecutive 20-5-5 Games
Luka Doncic took a massive jump with his production and play this season, dominating every aspect of the game with his versatile skillset. Luka has arrived as a superstar in the league and was the driving force behind the Mavericks playoff berth in the difficult Western Conference.
Luka passed Michael Jordan on December 9, 2019, to have the most consecutive (19 games in a row) 20 point, 5 assist, and 5 rebound games which is a testament to his greatness. 2020 will be remembered for a ton of challenging moments, but it will also be remembered as the rise of Luka Doncic as an NBA superstar.
5. Serge Ibaka
First Player In NBA History With 1500 Blocks And 500 Threes
Serge Ibaka is one of the most widely recognizable shot blockers in the NBA after he rose as a defensive demon as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder alongside Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Ibaka has found another home with the Raptors this year, having a terrific season as their best big man alongside Pascal Siakam.
Ibaka is the first player in NBA history with 1500 total blocks and 500 made threes, a remarkable achievement for a player that clearly plays both ends exceptionally well. Productive modern big men must shoot the jumper and play defense to receive major minutes, and Ibaka does this better than most in the NBA.
4. Golden State Warriors
Biggest Single Season Wins Dropoff In NBA History
To further add to an already confusing year, the Golden State Warriors followed up their NBA finals appearance last season with having the worst record in the NBA this season. With key injuries to both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the Warriors had no fighting chance and Draymond Green was left to fight alone in the crowded Western Conference.
The Warriors finished with a 15-50 record which was the worst in the NBA, and their drop from 57 wins to 15 wins was a pivotal moment in NBA history. Kevin Durant leaving a Warriors dynasty was a massive move that helped balance the NBA once again, and the team clearly struggled without any All-Stars on the floor. The Warriors are expected to be back next season, but for now, they hold the record for the biggest dropoff in wins ever.
3. James Harden
First Player To Have Back-To-Back 50+ Point Games With 10 Threes
Another player that had an iconic year was James Harden. Harden put on an offensive showcase that we haven’t seen before, following up his 36.1 PPG average last season with 34.3 PPG this year. Harden, in D’Antoni’s isolation heavy offense, completely dominated the scoring charts and is already recognized as a top-5 scorer ever to the majority of fans and media.
Of course, his offensive exploits earned him the record of being the only player with back to back 50+ point games with 10 threes. The game has completely changed, and this season was an example of that. Harden lives at the three-point line, opting for his stepback three-point shot instead of any mid-range shooting. Harden’s 10 threes for back-to-back 50-point games is impressive, and probably won’t be broken anytime soon.
2. Milwaukee Bucks
Fastest Team To Clinch The NBA Playoffs
The best team in the league this season was the Milwaukee Bucks, without any disrespect to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Bucks, led by their superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, were a machine on offense and defense. They moved the ball well by playing around their superstar, and players got good looks in the flow of the offense ran by Mike Budenholzer.
On defense, they were exceptional. They locked players down and forced them into bad shots, resulting in an 8th ranked defense. The Bucks had a disappointing end to their season by getting beat down by the Miami Heat in the second round of the Playoffs, but their regular season was sensational as they clinched the playoffs after only 56 games. They managed to beat out the Golden State Warriors record of 58 games before clinching the playoffs.
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo
Single Greatest PER In Regular-Season History
Perhaps the player who had the most memorable season was Giannis Antetokounmpo. Both Doncic and Harden broke records, but Giannis won both the MVP and the Defensive Player of the Year Award in the same season while leading the Milwaukee Bucks to the best record in the league. Clearly, he was the man all year.
To add some more icing to the cake, Giannis had a historically great 31.9 PER rating of which ranked highest in NBA history for a single season. Perhaps the most respected advanced statistic in the league, PER (player efficiency rating) captures a player’s contributions on both ends of the floor as much as possible. Giannis led the Bucks to the quickest playoff berth in history and also had the highest PER to end a spectacular season, beating out Wilt Chamberlain’s previous record of 31.82 PER rating.