Chicago Bulls rookie Lauri Markkanen wrote himself into the record books this past week by being the fastest player to reach 100 career triples. It’s an impressive feat for the 7-footer — especially when considering how many great shooters are littered throughout the league. It got us thinking, what other records could be toppled during this funky season?
Here are the five best candidates:
Most Threes Made in a Game
Current Record: 13; Stephen Curry
This record is meant to be broken over and over again. Curry finally took top honors by drilling 13 triples against the Pelicans in November of 2011 (he previously held a share of the record with Kobe Bryant and Donyell Marshall). With all of the great shooters around the league today, it’s only a matter of time until one of them gets hot enough to nail at least 14 three-pointers.
In total, there have been 33 instances in which a player has made double-digit threes in a game. 25 of those times were achieved by players currently active. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson would be the likely culprits, but don’t count out Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (especially after posting a 70-point game last season).
Most Turnovers Committed in a Game
Current Record: 14; Jason Kidd
Even all-time greats have a bad day, and that’s exactly what happened to Jason Kidd. The former 10-time All-Star point guard committed 14 turnovers in a game against the Knicks during the 2000-01 season. A slew of active players have flirted with besting this dubious record. James Harden got the closest with 12 two seasons ago. Kevin Durant, John Wall, and Steph Curry have all had 11 in a game before. Reigning MVP Russell Westbrook has had eight games with 10-plus turnovers in just the last three years.
The pace of the game is faster than it’s ever been. This results in more possessions — and in turn — wasted possessions. Harden and Westbrook are candidates for how often they control the rock, but DeMarcus Cousins is making a strong case by currently leading the league in turnovers per game (5.0).
This is an incredible turnover by DeMarcus Cousins. Like a basketball version of a pick-6. With the QB getting trucked on the way to the end zone pic.twitter.com/ORLZ6nHFmq
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) January 14, 2018
Most Free Throws Made in a Game
Current Record: 28; Adrian Dantley
It’s legitimately shocking that no current player has broken the current record of 28 made free throws set by Adrian Dantley in 1984 (Dantley also holds the silver medal with 27 makes in another game). It’s even more alarming when you consider three active players hold top-four spots for free throw attempts in a game. In fact, Dwight Howard’s record of 39 free throw tries is eight more attempts than any non-active player ever.
DeMar DeRozan got close when he drilled his first 24 attempts during a game in 2016. However, the betting favorite is James Harden. Since joining the Rockets, he’s attempted over 10 free throws per game. Harden is also a career 85.4-percent shooter from the foul stripe.
Most Combined Three-Point Attempts in a Game (both teams)
Current Record: 88; most recently set by Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers on March 12, 2017
There have been four separate occasions in which a pair of teams have combined for 88 threes in a single game. Coincidentally enough, the Houston Rockets were involved in every contest. The first instance of this record was set was during a game between Houston and the Golden State Warriors in 2016 (both teams attempted 44 triples each). It only makes sense for these two teams to eventually shatter this benchmark.
Two weeks later, the Rockets bested themselves by hoisting up 61 triples in a game against the Pelicans. New Orleans attempted 27 — tying the combined record.
If they can fling at that rate in a game against the Dubs, expect Golden State to attempt more than 27 threes of their own.
Current Record: 3 minutes; Bubba Wells
Former Harlem Globetrotters member Bubba Wells will be best known for enjoying one of the fastest nights in NBA history. Ordered to intentionally foul Dennis Rodman as a means to send him to the line, Wells used up all six of his fouls in just three minutes. Then-Mavericks coach Don Nelson couldn’t have expected that this strategy would still be in use today.
Players like DeAndre Jordan, Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo, and (most recently) Ben Simmons have all been purposely fouled to expose their poor free throw shooting ability. Under the right circumstances, we could see a player feasibly foul out in under a minute given how quickly teams can put the ball in the basket.
Michael Beasley flirted with a chance at the record back in December. He fouled out in 10 minutes of play — and was only half-trying to get DQ’d. Imagine if he was putting his mind to it. Think of the possibilities, Beas! Listen to that ovation!
Michael Beasley got a standing ovation from the fans at MSG after being the first member #Knicks to foul out this season….
He played 10 minutes tonight, scored 1 point 😬 pic.twitter.com/xBHKDVsYrR
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) December 11, 2017
BONUS: Fastest to 100 Career Threes
Current Record: 40 games; Lauri Markkanen
Alright, this might be cheating a bit, but the chances of this record holding over the next calendar year are slim. The Finnish big man has scorched nets for the Chicago Bulls this season — having knocked down 100 triples in his first 40 appearances. In a league that has produced copious amounts of great shooters in recent years, the 7-foot Markkanen should be plenty proud of this accomplishment.
However, he won’t be at the top for much longer. A sharpshooting guard over in Norman, Oklahoma is ready to rewrite the record books. Freshman point Trae Young is captivating crowds from all over the nation thanks to his deep range and potent accuracy from beyond the arc. He’s currently making just over four threes per contest at a 39.5-percent clip. If Young can keep that pace up, he’ll shatter Markkanen’s mark.
Sources: Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports, Twitter/DefPenHoops, Twitter/MrMichaelLee