Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Consistently the Best Players in NBA Playoff History

I originally was looking for guys with the most 3+ Win Shares seasons (Michael first, LeBron and Magic next), but then I figured that Wilt and Russell and those guys didn't get super long playoffs to put up 3 WS, so I dropped it to 2WS and added that you actually had to be really good -- .200 WS/48 or better.

The .200 WS/48 figure with 2 WS is reachable (5 guys made it this year), yet it does present an obstacle to guys who have put up WS but not been particularly efficient (LeBron 2015 has 3 WS but is at .184).

So, without further ado:

1Michael Jordan*19881998CHINBA9
2Kareem Abdul-Jabbar*19701984TOTNBA6
3Wilt Chamberlain*19601972TOTNBA6
4LeBron James20072014TOTNBA6
5Magic Johnson*19801989LALNBA6
6Tim Duncan19992014SASNBA5
7Shaquille O'Neal20002004LALNBA5
8Hakeem Olajuwon*19861997HOUNBA5
9Chauncey Billups20042009TOTNBA4
10Jerry West*19621969LALNBA4
11Kevin Durant20112013OKCNBA3
12Bill Russell*19601965BOSNBA3
13Elgin Baylor*19601961TOTNBA2
14Larry Bird*19841986BOSNBA2
15Kobe Bryant20012009LALNBA2

Interestingly, the top 6 guys are also the guys I have listed in my Top 6 players of all-time.  I have 6-1 as Magic/Duncan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Jordan, and this list, adjusted for alphabetical order, has Duncan and Magic flipped.

I have Shaq at #9 (behind Russell) and this list has him tied for 6th.  I had West 11, here he is tied for 9.    I had Russell 8, here he is tied for 11th.  Bird I had 13, he is tied for 13.  Kobe I had 18, he is tied for 13. 

Some outliers -- Hakeem I had 15, he is tied for 6th here.  Chauncey is not a top 36 player, but he is tied here with Jerry West for 9th.  Kevin Durant I had at 25, and I was, quite frankly, shocked to see his name on this list -- but that will give you pause to think about what an unbelievable career he has had in 7 years.  It will also tell you that if Durant can have 7 more years like his first 7 years that he will be a top 10 player of all-time and maybe better.

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