Presenting: The NBA’s 2013-14 Scoring Champs

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony

May 11, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) is guarded by Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (24) in game three of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeats New York 82-71. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Carmelo Anthony didn’t get his hands on the trophy he wanted last year but he did end up with a nice consolation prize. By dethroning three-time scoring champ Kevin Durant from his perch, Anthony became the league’s leading scorer. It was the first time in his points-dotted career he was able to win the honor. But can he do it again?

As a whole, the NBA is seeing scorers average less points than they ever did before. But that doesn’t mean that there still aren’t some who can light up a box score (or your Fantasy League).

XN Sports takes a look at who will be next year’s top-10 scoring champs.

1. Carmelo Anthony

Last Year
BBall Reference Predicted
XN Sports Predicted
28.7 PPG
26.1 PPG
28.9 PPG

Whenever Melo averages more than 21.8 field goal attempts, he averages 28 PPG or more. 2013-14 should be no different as he’ll be flanked by a threesome of point guards who’ll feed him the ball constantly and will be forced to take more shots on a worse-off team. Before Durant took over the scoring charts, past scoring champs were winning years in pairs. Anthony has the toolset and one track mind to revive the trend.

2. Kevin Durant

Last Year
BBall Reference Predicted
XN Sports Predicted
28.1 PPG
26.1 PPG
28.7 PPG

Durant will continually be in the top-3, possibly top-2, of this debate for a longtime coming. Not only is he only 24, but he has incredible size, a majestic stroke, and looks to be a regular 50/40/90 club member. The only thing that will keep him from winning back his scoring crown in 2013-14 is his new and improved all-around game which will get him his first MVP.

3. James Harden

Last Year
BBall Reference Predicted
XN Sports Predicted
25.9 PPG
22.6 PPG
27.3 PPG

22.6 PPG is a joke. Especially considering he put up 25.9 PPG last year while learning on the job. Without Dwight Howard to back him up, he might be on track for a 29-30 PPG season, but the sharing load won’t hurt his numbers too much. This is a guy who can shoot, drive, finish with either hand, and get to the line, after all.

4. Russell Westbrook

Last Year
BBall Reference Predicted
XN Sports Predicted
23.2 PPG
23.8 PPG
25.5 PPG

Westbrook and Durant still have some growing up to do. In the coming maturity, they’ll figure out how to better play off of each other, which should translate to a title or two. At least. In the meantime, Westbrook is going to have to put up his career-first 25.0-plus year since OKC have lost some major offensive weapons.

5. LeBron James

Last Year
BBall Reference Predicted
XN Sports Predicted
26.8 PPG
25.1 PPG
25.4 PPG

James is not of this Earth or time. Physics don’t apply to him … for the moment. This year he’ll turn 29, which means he’s just about at his peak. The first thing that will go for him are his scoring numbers as he’ll look to use his rebounding and court vision to hurt teams in other ways. 25.4 PPG is still nothing to laugh at when you’re also averaging 8 RPG and 8 APG.

6. Kyrie Irving

Last Year
BBall Reference Predicted
XN Sports Predicted
22.5 PPG
23.0 PPG
23.5 PPG

Jarrett Jack is the best doctor the Cavs could have ever gotten for Irving. With Jack sharing point guard minutes with Irving, as well as scoring duties, the young buck can ease up some, which will translate to a more efficient game.

7. Stephen Curry

Last Year
BBall Reference Predicted
XN Sports Predicted
22.9 PPG
21.1 PPG
23.0 PPG

Curry lost what Irving gained. But that doesn’t mean that Curry won’t have another stellar year. Yes, his ankles are worrisome, but he’s only missed major playing time during one season. In three others he’s proved he might be our generation’s Ray Allen (or better).

8. LaMarcus Aldridge

Last Year
BBall Reference Predicted
XN Sports Predicted
21.1 PPG
20.2 PPG
22.8 PPG

The big guy has never scored more than 22 points per game but this will be a banner year for LA. Firstly, he’ll have a solid backup to help keep his efficiency in check. Secondly, there are now four able-bodied guards who can supply him the ball. And finally, he’ll get to ignore rebounding (more so than he already does) by letting fellow big man Robin Lopez concentrate on the hustle work. Banner year. You’ll see.

9. Kobe Bryant

Last Year
BBall Reference Predicted
XN Sports Predicted
27.3 PPG
25.0 PPG
22.0 PPG

Kobe has defied the odds for too long. An Achilles’ heel injury will become his hell as he won’t have the explosiveness he did even at 34 years young. Still, he can score buckets like not many else, and should still crack the top-10.

10. Brook Lopez

Last Year
BBall Reference Predicted
XN Sports Predicted
19.4 PPG
22.5 PPG
22.0 PPG

There’s no clear reason why Lopez isn’t already a 25 PPG center. Other than blocking at a high clip, he doesn’t concentrate too much on defense, is a subpar rebounder for his size and position, and can shoot from anywhere within the three-point line. He won’t get there yet in 2013-14 but he’ll be breathing down a few players’ necks by the season after.

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Bogar Alonso is a dedicated student of the hardwood, soccer pitch, boxing ring, and tennis court. He is a regular NBA contributor to XN Sports. His work, involving more than just sports, has appeared on The Creators Project, A&E Networks, XXL Magazine, and others. Follow Bogar on Twitter @blacktiles
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