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Points Per 48: The Best Scoring Stat

Steph Curry leads in a different kind of scoring stat, Courtesy Getty Images


We all know that Steph Curry is the scoring leader in the NBA right now, duh. But who do you think is second? Maybe it’s Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Maybe it’s Durant’s teammate, Russell Westbrook. But if you go by points per game it is James Harden of the Houston Rockets, then it is Durant, and then it is DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings at 4th. But that is only if you use the old outdated stat, points per game. The more accurate and effective way to calculate someone’s ability to score the ball is the stat, point per 48. And when we use the points per 48 stat, DeMarcus Cousins is second, then Durant, and Harden is 4th. Westbrook is 5th if you use points per 48 and he is 7th if you use PPG.

First let me say, I know 48 minutes is a game but a game isn’t always 48 minutes. A game could go into triple and quadruple overtime. And no player averages 48 minutes. Some players, like Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, they don’t play the last quarter and a half most games because they are winning by so much. It also works in the same way for players on worse teams like DeMarcus Cousins. He doesn’t play many 4th quarters and some 3rd quarters cause his team is losing by some much. The “per game” stat is unfair because some players are playing in more OT’s than other players and get more minutes toward their game. So by calculating their points by 48 minutes instead of after every game, it is a better measure of how effective a player is scoring the ball. For example, in the traditional PPG a great shooter like, J.J. Redick, is the “40th” scorer in the league. Anyone that watches a lot of basketball, would never say Redick is just the 40th best scorer in the league. But when we use PP48, he is boasted to a more deserving 18.

When using a PPG, it doesn’t effectively factor in if a player has a bad quarter or two or even three. A player could score no points in the first half in the whole season, but could average 28 in the second half the whole season and his average would be 28 PPG. Those points per game could almost win him a scoring title and that’s not right. But when using a stat like PP48, it makes every minute you are on the court worth something.

This stat should be carried over to rebounding and steals and all the other stats. PP48 can definitely assess college talent better because their games are 2 halves and is shorter by 8 minutes. So if you use PP48, RP48, AP48, and other stats we can better assess college player’s future projection to the pro game.

This is not just a basketball thing, it’s a sport thing. Like for example, the NFL and college football should go from PPG to points per drive because it can better assess the offensive output of a team. “Per Game” is just doesn’t tell the whole story of the player or the team and “per 48” dives deeper and tells the scout or the viewer how effective a player or team actually is. In NBA “per game” should be changed to “per 48.”

Thanks for reading! Let us know what your thoughts are on the article!