Schooling LeBron and Kobe: All Hail Michael Jordan's All-Time Playoff Dominance

Isaiah MontoyaCorrespondent IMay 4, 2010

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Another NBA regular season is in the books and the playoffs are in full swing.

People all over are still trying to find the next Jordan, to no avail. Ponder Kobe and LeBron, Durant and Duncan, Pierce and Nash, and then ponder these all-time Jordan records.

Then pay homage to the untouchable greatest man who ever played the game: Michael Jordan.

Players on fire keep in the zone and they may even break a record or two. Jordan played in such a way, especially in the playoffs, that he led his teams to an unbeatable 6-0 finals record.

The 2009-10 regular season saw a plethora of record-breaking opportunities in its 82-game schedule. NBA legend Jordan played in 1,072 regular season games over his career (not an all-time record).

During those games, he set a record against Miami in 1992 when he made 20 free throws in a half; he took 23—also an all-time regular season record.

Once, Jordan recorded eight steals in a half, which is tied for an all-time regular season record. Defense was obviously one of his strong suits. Jordan holds the all-time record (tie) for leading the NBA in steals three times.

Scoring was also a strong suit. Jordan led the NBA in total points scored in 11 different seasons.

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This is an all-time record.

In his rookie year, Jordan averaged 28.2 points per game. He finished third in the scoring race behind Bernard King and Larry Byrd, but he played all 82 games and led the league in total season points—as a rookie!

Ten times, Jordan led the NBA in points per game: '87, '88, '89, '90, '91, '92, '93, '96, '97, and '98.

His 30.12 regular season scoring average (over 15 separate seasons) is the highest in NBA history, and neither LeBron nor Kobe will ever pass that.

Jordan recorded 563 career regular season games where he scored over 30 points. This is an all-time NBA record, as is his all-time regular season record of 866 straight games scoring in double figures.

Of course, Jordan shone even brighter in the playoffs, taking his team to an all-time NBA best 6-0 finals record with the Bulls.

Everyone else lost in the Finals.

In one playoff game against the Celtics in 1986 in Jordan’s second season, he scored 63 points, an all-time NBA playoff record. He set a record by making 13 consecutive shots from the field versus L.A. in the 1991 Finals, an all-time playoff record. Jordan made 24 shots from the field against Cleveland in 1988—also a playoff record.

Also a record-setter for playoffs was Jordan’s 13 free throws made in a quarter against Detroit in 1991.

Jordan holds the three-game series total points record with 135 points, versus Miami. He averaged 45.0 ppg in that series. In the same series, he made a record 53 shots from the field.

Jordan holds the five-game series record for total points with 226 in 1988 versus Cleveland (45.2 ppg). He hit a record 101 FGs in a six game series against Phoenix in 1993.

In fact, Jordan has scored more points in the playoffs than anyone, ever, in NBA history, with 5,987 points.

His amazing career playoff scoring average is an all-time high 33.45 points per game!

He set records by having the most 50-point playoff games with eight.

His 38 games in the playoffs with 40-plus points is the most ever, and his all-time record of 30-plus point playoff games totals 109. He also had more 20-plus point games than anyone ever with 173.

These are all amazing and unbreakable records.

Jordan is the only player ever in NBA history to score at least 15 points in every single playoff game he ever played in. He played in 179 career playoff games (not a record).

In the playoffs versus Cleveland in 1988, Jordan scored 50 points and then 55 the next game, which makes him the only player ever in the playoffs to score 50-plus points, consecutively. He did the same with three straight over-45 point games in the playoffs, also a record.

In one span, Jordan tabulated over 20 points, 60 consecutive times, which is an all-time NBA playoff record. So is his 15-plus point playoff game record of 179 (all his playoff games ever).

In fact, no other player ever has even scored 10-plus points in 179 straight games. Jordan’s lowest playoff points game was 15.

He took more shots than anyone in playoff history with 4,497 FG attempts. He has made more playoff free throws than anyone ever with 1,463.

In the finals, Jordan set himself apart from any player ever, because he never lost in the finals. He scored 35 points in a half versus Portland in 1992 Finals, which is an all-time finals record.

So is making 14 FGs in a half and 13 consecutively. He ties for most three-pointers made in a half in the finals with six. He made nine free throws in a quarter, a finals record.

He has the highest finals series scoring average ever with 41.0 ppg versus Phoenix in 1993.

Defensively, Jordan set a finals record with 14 steals in a five game series in 1991.

In a six-game finals (Jordan never let a finals get to Game Seven) series, Jordan holds all-time records with 246 points, 101 FGs made, and being the only player to ever score at least 20 points in every finals game he ever played in.

The record is 35 times, every one of his finals games!!!

Even as an old man, Jordan set all-time NBA records. He is the oldest player to ever score 50-plus points in a game when he scored 51 against the Hornets at 38 years and 315 days old. He scored 24 in a quarter that day, which is an opponent's all-time high points scored in quarter against the Hornets.

Also, he became the oldest player to ever score 40 points in a game at 40 years old and 4 days in 2003, and became the only player over 40 to average 20 points per game (in 2003, his 20.0 was his lowest season average).

Jordan set records like the most 30-points-per-game seasons ever for one player, with eight and seven consecutively.

Both are records.

Jordan blocked more shots than any guard ever in NBA history, with 893 for his career and 131 in one season (also an NBA guard record). Jordan became the first player ever to record 200 steals and 100 blocks in a season, and he did it twice in 1987 and 1988.

Kobe has never—and will never do either—let alone both.

Jordan’s six-time Finals MVP awards are an all-time NBA record. and he was NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1988) and an all-defensive first team player nine times, which is an NBA record.

His teams, therefore, won a lot of games. The Bulls actually recorded the greatest regular season record ever in 95-96 at 72 wins and 10 losses (Next two years, they went 69-13 and 62-20).

Jordan was named (the oldest ever at age 35) NBA MVP that year and also Finals MVP. They opened the season with a 41-3 record (a record).

In fact, from '95 to '96, Jordan and the Bulls completed a 33-8 road win record, which is a record. They also notched a record with their 14-0 win-loss record month in 1996.

In the finals, Jordan was the defensive and offensive catalyst in the all-time most lopsided finals game ever when his Bulls beat Utah by 42 points.

In 1998-99, the season after Jordan left the Bulls, not only did NBA players strike for 32 games, but the Bulls only averaged 81.9 points per game, which is an all-time low record in the NBA!

They obviously missed MJ, who was the oldest scoring champion ever at 35 for the Bulls the year before, putting up 28.7 points per game.

We shall say, then, with authority, that Michael Jordan is the greatest ever and would do the same or more today if he were in his prime.

So, next time you flip on an NBA game and before you even try and say LeBron and Kobe are great, you must first recognize the untouchable master: Michael Jordan.

And remember how life could be if we could bring the greatest ever back to school the little wannabes.


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