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1999-00 NBA Stats Leaders: Shaquille O'Neal Was Unstoppable, Led The Lakers To The Championship

1999-00 NBA Stats Leaders: Shaquille O'Neal Was Unstoppable, Led The Lakers To The Championship

Only the best players can lead the NBA in per-game stats. It’s a hard task to accomplish. During the 1999-2000 season, the Los Angeles Lakers had the best basketball player in the world. Shaquille O’Neal won the MVP after a stellar season that saw him rank near the top in points, rebounds, blocks, and field-goal percentage. By the end of the season, O’Neal didn’t just win the regular season MVP, but also the Finals MVP.

Outside of the Lakers, there were some other impressive accomplishments as well. Dikembe Mutombo gave Shaq a run for his money for best center in the league, while Jason Kidd began to embark on a journey towards being the league’s best point guard. Here are the star leaders from the 1999-2000 season.

PPG: Shaquille O’Neal - 29.7

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

2nd Place: Allen Iverson (28.3), 3rd Place: Grant Hill (25.8)

Before Nikola Jokic won an NBA MVP award, it had been over 20 years since a center was an MVP. Shaq’s dominance during this season was well-noted and well-remembered. In today’s leagues, leading scorers are guards and forwards who can shoot the three-ball. During this era, it featured some of the game’s best players from inside the arc.

Shaq led the league in field-goal percentage and scoring which is a very hard feat to do. This era didn’t feature jump-shooting centers as Shaq didn’t attempt a single three-point shot. With Shaq leading the way, the Lakers were able to capture the league’s best record with 67 wins and win the championship.

RPG: Dikembe Mutombo - 14.1

Dikembe Mutombo

2nd Place: Shaquille O’Neal (13.6), 3rd Place: Tim Duncan (12.4)

Mutombo didn’t just lead the league in rebounds per game, but also total rebounds as well. His 1,157 total rebounds were ahead of Shaq’s 1,078 rebounds. The two were the only players to have over 1,000 rebounds or more during the season with Kevin Garnett coming up 44 rebounds short.

Mutombo was also the league’s leading defensive rebounder where he pulled down more than 100 more defensive rebounds than Shaq. Mutombo was third in offensive rebounds, trailing league leader Elton Brand and Shaq. Mutombo did all of this, while also shooting 56.1% from the field.

APG: Jason Kidd - 10.1

Jason Kidd

2nd Place: Nick Van Excel (9.0), 3rd Place: Sam Cassell (9.0)

Kidd led the league in assists per game but finished fifth in total assists. His 678 total assists trailed Gary Payton, Sam Cassell, Nick Van Excel, and John Stockton. Payton led the league in total assists with 732. Payton also played all 82 games, while Kidd played in 67.

Kidd was the only player in the league to average double-digit assists per game. Had Kidd played 10 more games and followed his season average, he would have been the league leader without a question. This would be the second of four times that Kidd led the league in assists.

SPG: Eddie Jones - 2.7

Eddie Jones

2nd Place: Paul Pierce (2.1), 3rd Place: Darrell Armstrong (2.1)

The race for the steals crown was not close. Eddie Jones was the best at capturing a steal as his 192 total steals blew away the 169 that Darrell Armstrong had. Jones beat out some other stellar players in Gary Payton, Paul Pierce, and Mookie Blaylock, who were all about 40 steals away from Jones in this race.

Jones also scored 20.1 points per game while leading the league in steals. This was his best year with the Hornets, but also his career. Jones technically averaged 3.0 steals the year before, but was in 30 games when he was traded from the Bulls to the Hornets.

BPG: Alonzo Mourning - 3.7

Alonzo Mourning

2nd Place: Dikembe Mutombo (3.3), 3rd Place: Shaquille O’Neal (3.0)

Dikembe Mutombo made a career out of shot-blocking. It was a worldwide trademark when Mutombo would block a shot and wag his finger. However, there were always outliers that outshined Mutombo, and Alonzo Mourning did exactly that with the Miami Heat this season. Mourning finished with 294 blocks, which beat out Mutombo’s 269 blocks.

Mourning, Mutombo, and Shaq went one-two-three in total blocks, as well as blocks per game. Mourning was supreme during the season. Mourning finished with nine blocks two different times, as well as eight blocks five times. There were some players thinking about getting blocked the next morning, no pun intended.

TOV: Steve Francis - 4.0

Steve Francis

2nd Place: Jerry Stackhouse (3.8), 3rd Place: Jason Williams (3.7)

This was a pretty close race. Both Jerry Stackhouse and Steve Francis had career seasons during this campaign. Stackhouse technically led the league in total turnovers with 311, but Francis was right behind with 306. Granted, nobody wants to win this category, but it was a very close race in the end.

Francis led the league in per-game average though. Francis was a rookie this year and still scored 18.0 points per game. He also added 5.3 rebounds and 6.6 assists as a 22-year old for the Houston Rockets. As for Stackhouse, he made his first All-Star appearance, where he scored 23.6 points for the Detroit Pistons.

MPG: Michael Finley - 42.2

Michael Finley

2nd Place: Gary Payton (41.8), 3rd Place: Allen Iverson (40.8)

Nobody could ever question how much Michael Finley gave on the court. He led the league in minutes per game three times in his career, which included three times in a span of four years. Finley was one of six players that played over 40 minutes per game. The rest included Gary Payton, Allen Iverson, Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Garnett, and Latrell Sprewell.

Finley averaged 22.6 points and 6.3 rebounds in his first All-Star appearance. He added 5.3 assists and 1.3 steals as well. Give Payton his credit as well, who nearly took this title from Finley, missing it by just 0.4 minutes per game.

Field-Goal Percentage: Shaquille O’Neal - 57.4%

Shaquille O’Neal’s Dunk On Chris Dudley Is The Most Disrespectful Dunk Of All Time

2nd Place: Dikembe Mutombo (56.2%), 3rd Place: Alonzo Mourning (55.1%)

Shaq finished fourth in the league in field goal attempts with 1,665. The players in front of him included Gary Payton (1,666), Vince Carter (1,696), and Allen Iverson (1,733). All three players in front of him didn’t even finish in the top-20 in field goal percentage while Shaq led the league. Shaq took more shots than some of the top shooting guards in the league, as well as Chris Webber and Kevin Garnett, and still converted at a high rate.

For those reasons, it should come as no surprise that Shaq led the league in two-point field goals (956) and two-point field goal attempts (1,664). Shaq made more than 250 field goals inside the arc than runner-up Karl Malone and nearly more than 200 attempts than Iverson. Shaq was brutal in the paint.

Three-Point Percentage: Hubert Davis - 49.1%

Hubert Davis

2nd Place: Jeff Hornacek (47.8%), 3rd Place: Matt Bullard (44.6%)

Davis played for the Mavericks this season in which he played 72 games. Of those games, he started 15. Davis made 1.0 three-point field goals per night out of 2.1 attempts. Given that Davis’ career-high in points was 11.1 points per game, this was likely the highlight of his career.

Out of the league’s top outside shooters, Gary Payton led the league in three-point field goals made and attempts. Payton made 177 of 520, while Davis made 82 of 167. Hornacek was right in the middle of the race by making 66 of 138 attempts. This was Hornacek’s final season in the league as well.

Free Throw Percentage: Jeff Hornacek - 95.0%

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

2nd Place: Reggie Miller (91.9%), 3rd Place: Darrell Armstrong (91.1%)

There is no better way to end a career while being on top. Hornacek entered retirement by leading the league in free throw percentage. At the age of 36 years old, Hornacek was one of three players that shot over 90% at the free-throw line. Terrell Brandon nearly made it four, but he finished the year shooting 89.9%.

As for Hornacek, he made 171 out of 180 attempts. That is an impressive mark for someone that also started 77 of the 77 games he played that season. While John Stockton and Karl Malone took a lot of the attention on the Jazz, Hornacek had a very successful season too that was probably overlooked. 


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