By John Schuhmann
In addition to surpassing the 20,000-point mark in Wednesday's win at Golden State, LeBron James became the 55th player in NBA history to eclipse the 5,000-assist mark. James is one of only 13 players with both 20,000 points and 5,000 assists.
Through Wednesday, James ranks 10th in the league with 6.9 assists per game, and is the only non-point guard in the top 20. But he does rank No. 1 in one important category: assists on 3-pointers. And what's interesting is that, among the 20 players who have assisted on the most 3s, James is the only one who has assisted on more corner 3s than above-the-break 3s.
Corner 3s, we know, are more efficient shots than 3s from above the break. This season, the league is shooting corner treys at 38.4 percent (1.15 points per attempt) and above-the-break 3s at 35.0 percent (1.05 points per attempt). In fact, corner 3s are barely less efficient than shots from the restricted area (1.17 points per attempt).
Most assists on 3-pointers, 2012-13
James already has more assists on corner 3-pointers than he did all of last season (37). But, even at his pace of 1.4 assists on corner treys per game, he won't match the 130 assists on corner 3s (to eight different teammates) that he had in 2008-09 with the Cavs. That was, by far, the most assists on corner 3s in a season since shot location started being tracked in 1996-97.
Most assists on corner 3-pointers, single season
This season, James has assisted eight different teammates on 3-pointers, led by 27 assists on Shane Battier 3s, with 21 of those 27 have coming from the corner. Overall, the teammate James has assisted most is Chris Bosh, who has received 63 dimes from the reigning MVP.
That pales in comparison to the number of assists Kevin Durant has received from Russell Westbrook. The Thunder pair leads the league in assists from one teammate to another.
Most assists from teammate to teammate, 2012-13
|Kevin Durant||Russell Westbrook||121|
|Blake Griffin||Chris Paul||116|
|Serge Ibaka||Russell Westbrook||92|
|Paul Pierce||Rajon Rondo||91|
|David Lee||Stephen Curry||89|
|Tim Duncan||Tony Parker||87|
|Brook Lopez||Deron Williams||86|
|Thaddeus Young||Jrue Holiday||86|
|Kevin Garnett||Rajon Rondo||85|
|Anthony Davis||Greivis Vasquez||72|
The Paul-to-Griffin combination was right on pace with Westbrook-Durant until Paul missed the last two games with a bruised right kneecap. Paul still easily leads the league on assists in the restricted area, however, with 77 of his 180 going to Griffin.
Most assists on shots in the restricted area, 2012-13
So how does Rajon Rondo lead the league in assists per game? A whole lot of mid-range jumpers from his teammates. Of Rondo's 368 assists, 130 have come on shots from between the paint and the 3-point line. That's 40 more than any other player in the league.
Most assists on shots from mid-range, 2012-13