When Kevin Durant entered the NBA in the 2007-08 season, the NBA was so overrun with 20-point scorers that the Golden State Warriors had three, the New Jersey Nets had two and Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson each averaged 25 points for the Denver Nuggets. In all, the league tied its record of 27 players averaging at least 20 points, with two others right on the cusp at 19.9.
“You would see a guy on every team that could get 20 points,” Durant recalled.
Durant ranked 24th in scoring as a rookie at 20.3 points per game, but this season that same total would put him at 12th. And while the Oklahoma City Thunder forward has kept up his high-scoring rate — Durant is on pace to become just the fifth player to win four NBA scoring titles — the number of other players who have maintained a 20-point scoring average has continually declined.
Twelve players averaged 20 points last season during the lockout-shortened campaign. That number has dropped to 11 this season, which would be the lowest total since 1965-66 – when the NBA had just nine teams.