Kevin Martin's Unprecedented Arsenal

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Most high-scoring guards in the NBA fall into two categories: slasher or shooter. Slashers, like Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, draws tons of fouls. Shooters, like Ray Allen and Michael Redd, bomb away from long-range. Very few scorers combine the aspects of slasherdom and shooterdom well -- LeBron does shoot a bunch, but not efficiently from distance (32% career). The same goes for Kobe (34%) and Wade (26%). Redd (6.8/game) and Allen (3.2/game) draw few fouls, comparatively.

(I think you know where I'm headed with this.)

This season, Kevin Martin got 9.5 FTAs per game (#5 in the league). He also took 4.4 3PAs per game, and scored on 40.2% of those. That's good diversity. (<-- Understatement.)

How many players have ever averaged at least 9 FTAs per game and shot at least 40% from three (taking at least 1 three per game)? One. Kevin Martin, this season.

How many players have ever averaged at least 8 FTAs per game and shot at least 40% from three (taking at least 1 three per game)? Two. Kevin Martin and Michael Jordan.

How many players have ever averaged at least 7 FTAs per game and shot at least 40% from three (taking at least 1 three per game)? Six. Kevin Martin, Michael Jordan, Reggie Miller, Kevin Johnson, Paul Pierce and Dirk Nowitzki.

[Martin's 2008-09 is real similar to Pierce's underrated 2001-02 season, when Pierce finished third-team All NBA and took Boston to the conference finals. Pierce shot more often and rebounded a bit better per-minute, but Martin shot much more efficiently and didn't have as many turnovers. (Pierce went 40 mpg; Martin had 36.) Paul Pierce, of course, is considered one of the most versatile offensive weapons in the world. He'll get a few low-ballot MVP votes, just as he has over his career. (Vince Carter's got a similar mix of numbers with point to a versatile offense, too.)]

But get this again: No one in the modern history of basketball who shoots so well from three has been driven to get to the line this much. Jordan, in 1995-96, shot 40% from three and averaged 8 FTAs per game. Kevin Martin shot 40% from three this year and averaged 9.5 FTAs! (In less playing time, even.)

Martin's offense isn't just at the top of this roster -- the combination of effective slashing and effective shooting is unprecedented in modern basketball history. And he still can't get the ball in crunch time? If Reggie Theus wasn't just blowin' smoke to keep Ron-Ron happy, he needs his retinas checked.

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