Paint by numbers: NBA players creating statistical works of art

Dirk Nowitzki of the Mavericks continues to climb the NBA all-time stats ladder.

With every NBA season comes the annual pursuit by players toward reaching milestones.

Along those lines, the 2018-19 season will not be an exception as numerous players will be driving toward certain numbers as they build on their careers.

Let’s examine some of them (all statistical information comes courtesy of basketball-reference.com).

Points

Dirk Nowitzki of the Mavericks and LeBron James enter the season sixth and seventh on the all-time scoring list with 31,887 and 31,038 points, respectively.

* Nowitzki needs 233 to move into fifth place, ahead of the late icon Wilt Chamberlain (31,419).

* James needs 150 to climb ahead of Nowitzki.

* Vince Carter of the Hawks (24,868) needs 132 to become the 22nd player in league history to reach 25,000.

* Kevin Durant of the Warriors (20,913) needs 87 to hit the 21,000 mark, while Pau Gasol of the Spurs (20,776) is 224 away from reaching the milestone.

* Tony Parker of the Hornets (18,943), free agent Jamal Crawford (18,906), free agent Jason Terry (18,881) and Zach Randolph of the Kings (18,578) are closing in on 19,000 points, while Dwight Howard of the Wizards is one point from 18,000.

Rebounds

Howard enters his first season with Washington with 13,101 boards, needing 648 to past Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon (13,748) to move into 13th place all-time.

* DeAndre Jordan of the Mavericks (7,988) is 12 away from the 8,000 mark, while Al Jefferson of the Pacers (7,690) is 310 shy.

* Carmelo Anthony of the Rockets (6,884) needs 116 for 7,000, while Josh Smith of the Pistons (6,653) and free agent David West (6,590) are 347 and 410 away, respectively.

Assists

Chris Paul of the Rockets is already in the top 10 and James of the Lakers is on the precipice.

Paul, who stands ninth with 8,708 dimes, is 259 away from climbing past Gary Payton (8,966) for eighth place.

James (8,208) is 317 away from passing Andre Miller (8,524) and moving into the ninth spot.

* Parker of the Hornets (6,829) and Rajon Rondo of the Lakers (6,608) are 171 and 392, respectively, from the 7,000 plateau.

* Kyle Lowry of the Raptors (4,660) needs 340 to hit 5,000, Andre Iguodala of the Warriors (4,605) needs 395, Carter of the Hawks (4,579) needs 421 and free agent Jameer Nelson (4,508) is 492 away.

Steals

Good friends Paul and James are also primed to move up the ladder here.

Paul (2,008) is 68 shy of moving into 11th place, passing Mookie Blaylock (2,075).

James (1,865) is 80 short of jumping Kobe Bryant (1,944) for 15th.

*  Dwyane Wade (1,561) of the Heat needs 39 to reach 1,600.

* Carter (1,463) is 37 shy of 1,500.

* Rondo (1,354) is chasing the 1,400 mark.

* Thaddeus Young of the Pacers (1,192) needs eight for 2,000, while free agent Tony Allen (1,158) is 42 shy.

Blocked shots

Howard (2,047) needs 36 more rejections to pass George Johnson (2,082) and move into 16th place all-time, while Pau Gasol (1,926) is 43 from passing Theo Ratliff (1,968) for 20th all-time.

* Jordan needs 23 to hit 1,300, while Nowitzki is 37 shy.

* Jefferson (1,093), Marc Gasol of the Grizzlies (1,072) and Brook Lopez now of the Bucks (1,070) are closing in on 1,100.

* Anthony Davis of the Pelicans is 14 from 1,000.

Field goals

James (11,280) stands seventh on this list and needs only 51 to surpass Shaquille O’Neal (11,330) to take over sixth.

Nowitzki (11,034) needs 247 to climb past O’Neal.

Anthony (9,088) is 348 shy of surpassing the late Moses Malone (9,435) for 19th, while Carter is 27 away from besting Jerry West for 21st.

* Pau Gasol (62), free agent Joe Johnson (178) and Parker (436) have 8,000 next for them.

* Terry (86), LaMarcus Aldridge of the Spurs (156) and Crawford (424) have the 7,000 mark next or them.

* Russell Westbrook of the Thunder (4), Paul (140) and West (297) are chasing 6,000.

Free throws

Nowitzki (7,201) needs 127 makes from the line to move ahead of some guy named Michael Jordan (7,327) for fifth all-time.

James (6,862) is 57 shy of Paul Pierce (6,918) for eighth, while Anthony (5,900) is 36 shy of 20th-place O’Neal and Wade (5,543) is 221 away from Elgin Baylor for 23rd.

* Reigning Most Valuable Player James Harden of the Rockets (4,850) is 150 from 5,000, while Carter (4,782) and Pau Gasol (272) are also closing in.

* Paul (3,830), Crawford (3,601), DeMar DeRozan of the Spurs (3,539) and Randolph (3,507) have 4,000 in their sights.

* DeMarcus Cousins of the Warriors (2,992) and Kevin Love of the Cavaliers (2,920) are eight and 80, respectively, shy of the 3,000 mark.

3-point field goals

It should come as no surprise this is the list with the most current players looking to climb the ladder.

As we head toward the 2018-19 campaign, Hall of Famers Ray Allen (2,973) and Reggie Miller (2,560) stand one-two on the list.

However, here are how many makes from movin’ on up:

* Terry (2,282) is 279 from overtaking Miller for second.

* Kyle Korver of the Cavaliers (2,213) is 70 from surpassing Terry.

* Crawford (2,153) needs 61 to move into fourth.

* Steph Curry of the Warriors (2,129) needs 15 to slide into sixth.

* Carter (2,106) is 24 away from seventh.

* Johnson (1,978) is 11 shy of ninth.

* Nowitzki (1,918) is 61 out of 10th.

* J.R. Smith of the Cavaliers (1,917) needs only two makes to move up to 11th.

* Harden (1,647) is 39 away from 18th.

* James (1,616) is 32 from 19th.

* Klay Thompson of the Warriors (1,557) must make only three triples to move up to 23rd.

In terms of hitting specific milestones, here is a short list:

* Terry is 18 from 3,000.

* Crawford is 47 shy of 2,200.

* Johnson needs 22 for 2,000

* Thompson is 43 from 1,557.

* Ginobli is five away from 1,500, while J.J. Redick of the 76ers is 36 shy of that mark.

* Lowry needs 25 to hit 1,400.

* Damian Lillard of the Trail Blazers is 31 shy of 1,300.

* C.J. Miles of the Raptors is 28 away from 1,200, while Nelson is 47 short.

* Miles’ new teammate in Toronto, Danny Green, needs 31 makes to hit 1,000.

Games played

Finally, to put up any kinds of numbers, players must be able to answer the bell and be available to their respective teams.

Here’s a look at the games-played list:

Nowitzki (1,471) needs to play in six games to pass Karl Malone (1,476) and take over fourth place, is 34 from overtaking John Stockton (1,504) for third.

Robert Parish (1,611) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,560) stand first and second, respectively.

Terry (1,410) needs 15 to overtake Kevin Willis (1,424) for seventh, while Carter (1,405) is only six from eighth.

* Nowitzki needs 29 for 1,500.

*Johnson (1,276) and Crawford (1,262) are 24 and 38, respectively, short of 1,300.

* Parker (1,198) needs two to reach 1,200, while Pau Gasol (1,196) is four shy.

* Tyson Chandler of the Suns (1,079) is 21 away from 1,100, while Anthony (1,054) is 46 away.

* Wade and Smith are 18 and 40 away, respectively, from the 1,000 mark.