Which players have had the best games of the season so far?
This should be pretty easy to guess, right? All we have to do is take a look at a list of the most productive players and most of those players will probably show up in a list of the top performances, too. Because the best players tend to have the best games.
But the truth is, while we have an idea of the average productivity of NBA players, individual performances are highly variable. Even good players have bad games, and bad players can have an amazing game every once and a while. The players on the list of the best games of the season may surprise you:
Note: table does not include games from November 19th.
On this list of the 20 best performances of the season so far, we have:
- A player -- James Anderson (#1!), one of my candidates for Most Improved Player (another story for another day) -- who had only played 1290 NBA minutes prior to this season.
- Two rookies, Michael Carter-Williams (at #3!) and Vitor Faverani (#14)
- Two repeat appearances: Anthony Davis (#6 and #18), and Jordan Hill (#9 and #13).
- Appearances from bench players: Jordan Hill has started only 4 of 12 games so far, and Travis Outlaw (#12) hasn't started any.
- Appearances from players who are typically average to below average (Martin at #20, Thompson at #17, Outlaw, and Afflalo at #2).
- Kevin Love (#10), who is bouncing back from an injury-plagued season.
- Games against excellent teams, good teams, mediocre teams, and bad teams.
All told, only 7 of the top 20 most productive players on the season are on this list. As the season goes along, expect there to be even more surprise additions to this list.