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Allen Iverson Predicts Absurd Scoring Average if He Played Today

NBA great Allen Iverson is honored for being selected to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team during halftime in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Allen Iverson is seen by many as the best little man scorer in NBA history. Listed at six feet, 165 lbs., Iverson was often the smallest man on the court. Despite this, he could rarely be contained on the offensive end.

During his 14 seasons in the NBA, Iverson averaged 26.7 points per contest in 914 regular season games.  That average went up to 29.7 points per game in his 71 postseason outings. Iverson won four scoring titles, averaged over 30 points in four seasons, and was named the 2000-01 MVP.

Allen Iverson Predicts Absurd Scoring Average if He Played Today

Today’s Game is Heavily Tilted to the Offensive End

There was a lot of scrutiny surrounding Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game. The Eastern Conference scored a whopping 211 points in their 211-186 win. The two teams combined for 168 three-point attempts and just five free throws, as there wasn’t an ounce of defense being played for most of the game.

While it isn’t quite that bad in games that count in the standings, scoring continues to go up. Every team averages at least 107 points per game this season, with the Indiana Pacers leading the way at 123.5. At the All-Star break, an incredible 46 players are averaging more than 20 points a night while playing at least 70% of their team’s games.

43 Points Per Game?!

The four-highest single-season scoring averages belong to Wilt Chamberlain. He averaged an astounding 50.4 in the 1961-62 season. The only other player to average at least 37 per game is Michael Jordan (37.1 in 1986-87). Recently, James Harden averaged 36.1 in 2018-19 with the Houston Rockets.

A guest on The Big Podcast with Shaq, Iverson was asked by Shaquille O’Neal how many points he believes he can average in today’s NBA. Iverson spoke of how he averaged 33 points in the 2005-06 season yet still didn’t win the scoring title, as Kobe Bryant averaged more. Iverson said he thinks you can add 10 points to his scoring average in today’s game, bringing him to 43.

A Way Different Game in 2005-06

While the 2005-06 season wasn’t even 20 years ago, scoring wasn’t close to what it is today. Just five teams even averaged 100 per game, meaning 25 teams averaged double rather than triple-digits. The Portland Trail Blazers didn’t even average 90 (88.8)!

Philadelphia averaged 99.4, meaning that Iverson essentially scored one-third of their points on average. The 76ers would need to average 129 points for Iverson to put up 43 a game at that rate.

It is fun to think about what Iverson could do in today’s NBA. It is a league that has completely fallen in love with the three-point shot, and that wasn’t Iverson’s strong point. For his career, he shot just 31.3% from behind the arc.

It doesn’t mean he couldn’t dominate, though, as Russell Westbrook has put up crazy scoring numbers without a reliable three-point shot. It is also an era where superstar players have begun to team up more frequently, so you wonder if Iverson would be on a team with other scoring threats, which would not give him as many shots.


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