The 1994-95 season saw a battle between two great centers for the scoring race. It was the rise of a promising young star in Orlando, while the others cemented his legacy as all-time greats in Texas. One won the scoring title, while the others won the NBA championship and an MVP Award.
As for the rest, the makeup of the scoring race saw multiple centers and forwards average a bunch of points. It was not the year of the scoring guard. After all, Michael Jordan didn’t play the whole season, so it opened the door for many other players. They certainly took advantage of his absence.
Here are the top 10 scorers from the 1994-95 season.
10. Glenn Robinson - 21.9 PPG
Robinson finished the season ninth in total points and took the eighth-most field goal attempts. He finished 10th in made field goals, which was right on par with his 10th place finish in the scoring race. He had plenty of chances to score because the ball was in his hands quite a bit. For the Bucks, he had the sixth-highest usage rate in the NBA.
Because of that rate, Robinson led the league in turnovers. He led in that category by a high amount, finishing with 42 more turnovers than runner-up Scottie Pippen. If he had taken better care of the ball, he might have ended with a higher average.
9. Glen Rice - 22.3 PPG
Rice scored the eighth-most points in the season, where he did most of his dirty work behind the three-point line. He scored the sixth most three-point field goals. Overall, he finished with the ninth-most made field goals, finishing right on point with his ninth-best scoring average.
Rice also did an exceptional job at the free-throw line, where he shot over 85% from the charity stripe, which was 15th in the league. The advanced stats said that Rice was an integral part of the Miami Heat’s offense, where he finished 11th in offensive win shares and 16th in total win shares.
8. Mitch Richmond - 22.8 PPG
Richmond scored the seventh-most points in the league. He finished the season in the top-5 for field goal attempts. He finished fifth overall and made the eighth-most field goals. Richmond was a solid all-around player. He scored the 16th most field goals inside the arc but also made the 11th most three-point field goals.
The Kings relied on Richmond pretty hard. He was used 27% of the time on offense, which was the 12th most in the league. However, those numbers never translated to wins. The Kings were not a top team in the league, but at least Richmond finished with a solid individual season.
7. Charles Barkley - 23.0 PPG
Give Barkley his flowers because he was a very efficient player for the Suns. He finished with the fourth-highest player efficiency rating in the league. The only players that were ahead of Barkley were the top-3 finishers in the scoring race. That included finishing 12th in offensive win shares and 13th overall.
Barkley missed some games, playing in 68 games total. That led to him scoring the 19th most points in the league, but since he had played enough games already, he still qualified for the scoring race. Barkley also finished 11th in the league in defensive rebounds.
6. Patrick Ewing - 23.9 PPG
The number six was Ewing’s number this season. Ewing was sixth in total points, points per game, and total rebounds. On top of that, Ewing was fourth in rebounds per game, averaging 11.0 per game. That included finishing just five defensive rebounds short of Karl Malone’s league-leading 715.
Ewing finished fifth in the league in made field goals, which were all in the two-point range. He took the seventh most attempts and was used on offense the third most of the time. Ewing was one of four players that were used over 30% of the time on offense. His defense is what shined the most, where he finished third in the league in defensive win shares.
5. Jamal Mashburn - 24.1 PPG
Mashburn had a successful season for the Mavericks, scoring the fifth-most points to finish fifth in the scoring race. Mashburn took the second-most shots in the league to get to this point. He converted the seventh most field goals, which included the ninth most two-point field goals. With that said, Mashburn missed the most field goals, missing 883 shots. Mashburn and Richmond were the only players that missed over 800 shots in the season.
Mashburn was used a lot on offense, finishing with the seventh-highest usage rate. With that said, his misses added up, which hurt his efficiency ratings. He did not make the top-20 in offensive or defensive win shares, as well as player efficiency rating. He also finished 14th in the league in turnovers.
4. Karl Malone - 26.7 PPG
It was another great season for Malone, who scored the third-most points in the league. While scoring in large quantities, Malone led the league in defensive rebounding, which helped him finish ninth in the rebounding race. Malone made the second-most field goals on offense, finishing as one of two players to make over 800 field goals in the season.
Malone was one of four players that took over 1,500 shots in the season, which included 819 two-point field goals. Malone had the eighth-most misses in the season, but he did enough of everything else to make up for it. He finished in the top-5 in player efficiency rating, as well as overall win shares.
3. David Robinson - 27.6 PPG
The MVP of the NBA finished third in the scoring race and was just a few points off from finishing second. Despite scoring 200 more points than Hakeem Olajuwon, Robinson was third overall due to games. With that said, Robinson was third in scoring, seventh in rebounds, and third in blocks. He also cracked the top-15 in steals, proving he was truly the best all-around player in the league.
From a scoring perspective, Robinson was right on par with the shots he took. Robinson took the sixth most shots but converted the fourth-highest made field goals. Robinson also led the league in made free throws. All his efforts that is why he led the league in player efficiency rating, as well as win shares, offensive win shares, and defensive win shares.
2. Hakeem Olajuwon - 27.8 PPG
Olajuwon might have missed out on the MVP and the scoring title, but it was he that led the Rockets back to the NBA Finals, where he was the Finals MVP. It sounds like a pretty decent tradeoff nearly 30 years later. Olajuwon had a great regular season, scoring over 2,000 points. Olajuwon was one of four players to score over that amount.
From the floor, Olajuwon made the third-most field goals and took the fourth-most shots. It’s one of the best stats he could have had from this season. He also had other solid stats for his season. Olajuwon was also eight in rebounds, ninth in steals, and second in blocks.
1. Shaquille O’Neal - 29.3 PPG
The young star from the Orlando Magic made a name for himself this season. O’Neal led the Magic to the NBA Finals, where the team was greeted with a sweep. However, his season was spectacular. O’Neal scored the most field goals (934) and took the most shots (1,594). Even with that, he finished second in field goal percentage.
Had O’Neal been a better free-throw shooter, he would have had more. He led the league in free-throw attempts but didn’t make the top-20 in made free throws. Overall, O’Neal finished second in player efficiency rating and second in total win shares. Given that he was used the most on offense (31.9%) and converted at a high rate, there was a valid argument that he could have won the MVP.
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