The best hustlers in the NBA

Published by Axel on 14th June - 21:50 (CET)
When Kyrie Irving said that he knew he had to play more aggressive if the Cavaliers was going to survive another game against the Warriors he really meant it.

Even though his shot quality was so tough that an average NBA player would shoot 45.5% on same shots he managed to get 41 points with an effective FG% of 80.4%. Other than that he got 6 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals and a block while shooting 70.8 in FG% and 71.4 in 3P%.
Considering the circumstances, playing in a elimination game in the NBA finals, this might have been the best performance of his career. Including the 57 point game against the Spurs.

Another player who is quite good in elimination games is LeBron James. As he also got 41 points he and Kyrie became the first two teammates ever to both score at least 40 points in a NBA finals game.
Last time two players managed to score 40+ points in the same finals game was back in game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals when Shaquille O'Neal and Allen Iverson did so, but on different teams.

This also made LeBron the highest scorer in points per game when facing elimination of all times (only counting players who faced elimination at least 5 times). The top 5 list goes:

1. LeBron James - 31.9
2. Michael Jordan - 31.3
3. Wilt Chamberlain 31.1
4. Kevin Durant 29.8
5. Allen Iverson 29.8

LeBron did more than scoring last night though, with his 41 points, 16 rebounds and 7 assists he became the first player to get at least 40 points 15 rebounds and 7 assists in NBA Finals history.
He now leads this series, including The Warriors, in rebounds per game (12.0), assists per game (8.0), steals per game (2.4) and blocks per game (2.0). The only major category he doesn't lead this series in is points where his 28.0 PPG is only good enough for 2nd place. Kyrie Irving dominates at 28.2.

But those numbers alone doesn't win you playoff games, you need good hustle plays and intensity through all four quarters. That's why I've gathered a few top 5 lists of the players that has brought the most hustle plays per game in this years playoffs. Check them out!

PS. I also want to apologize to all readers who thought this post was going to be about hustling and dealing drugs... That's for next week!

Minutes Per Game
1. CJ McCollum - 40.0
2. Damian Lilliard - 40.0
3. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope - 40.0
4. Kevin Durant - 40.0
5. LeBron James - 39.0
5. Paul George - 39.0
5. James Harden - 39.0
5. Tobias Harris - 39.0

Screen Assists - Offensive players sets screen for a teammate that directly leads to a made field goal
1. DeAndre Jordan - 6.7
2. Cole Aldrich - 3.8
3. Bismack Biyombo - 3.8
4. Cody Zeller - 3.4
5. Dwight Howard - 3.4

Deflections - Defensive player gets his hand on the ball on a non-shot attempt
1. Trevor Ariza - 4.4
2. Paul George - 3.7
3. Danny Green - 3.5
4. Raymond Felton - 3.4
5. Jae Crowder - 3.3

Loose Balls Recovered - Player gains possession of a ball not in control by any team
1. Paul George - 1.7
2. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope - 1.5
3. Matt Barnes - 1.5
4. Stephen Curry - 1.3
4. Chris Paul - 1.3
4. CJ McCollum - 1.3
4. Tony Allen - 1.3
4. Frank Kaminsky - 1.3

Charges Drawn - Defensive player draws a charge
1. Paul George - 0.86
2. Salah Mejri - 0.75
3. Kemba Walker - 0.57
4. Udonis Haslem - 0.44
5. Donatas Motiejunas - 0.40

Contested 2PT Shots - Defensive player closes out and raises his hand to contest a 2PT shot
1. Hassan Whiteside - 13.5
2. Myles Turner - 12.7
3. Al Horford - 12.2
4. Draymond Green - 11.4
5. Paul Millsap - 10.6

Contested 3PT Shots - Defensive player closes out and raises his hand to contest a 3PT shot
1. Paul Millsap - 5.5
2. Reggie Jackson - 5.3
3. Wesley Matthews - 5.0
4. Tobias Harris - 4.8
5. Jae Crowder - 4.7

Contested Shots - Defensive player closes out and raises his hand to contest any shot
1. Paul Millsap - 16.1
2. Draymond Green - 15.9
3. Al Horford - 15.8
4. Myles Turner - 14.7
5. Hassan Whiteside - 14.0

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