Following last night's "By The Numbers" post, I received an e-mail from a well-researched reader who shared with me a very interesting fact: no player in NBA history has ever led the league in both free throws made and three-point shots made. Nobody. Has. Ever. Done. That.
Funny thing is, as of right now, Kevin Martin is on pace to become the first. He's currently tied with Jason Richardson for most three-pointers made, and he leads the league in free throws made.
Should he stay healthy and hold off the sharpshooting Richardson (who no longer has Steve Nash to feed him from deep), as well as charity stripe regulars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Martin will have put together perhaps one of the most efficient seasons in NBA history. Not that he hasn't done that before.
In 2008-2009, Martin averaged 2.3 made three-pointers per game (the number he is averaging now) and made nine free throws per game, which led the league. Unfortunately, Jamal Crawford dropped 3.2 three-pointers per game that season and Martin only played in 51 games. However, Martin did manage set an NBA record that season by becoming the first person to make eight free throws per game and shoot 40% from long range. He went ahead and added an extra free throw per-game to that record, just for fun. While these are per-game numbers and not season totals, they're certainly just as impressive.
Records aside, for a player to be able to be amongst the league leaders in both categories is rather incredible. Take, for instance, that through December 22 of this season, there is only one other player in the top twenty in both categories -- Manu Ginobili -- and he happens to be 80 free throws behind Martin.
It's not likely that Martin will be able to keep this pace up, as he has never played in 82 games once in his career. But should we approach March and Martin is still on pace for the record, wouldn't that be something to watch?
I'll end on the same poignant note as did the reader's e-mail:
Much credit to Kyle Lowry, who's finding him a lot now.