Best playoff performances in the NBA

Written by Our Friends

We have witnessed a lot of great moments in the NBA since its existence. 100 points from Wilt Chamberlain, 81 points from Kobe Bryant, incredible comebacks. But still, there are always things that astonish us. 

Playoff performances also stay in our memories for a long time and it is hard to get rid of them. In this article, we will have a look at one of the most memorable moments in the NBA postseason.

Dwyane Wade vs Dallas, 2006

This performance from Dwyane Wade still remains one of the best ones in the finals. Wade was only 23 at that time, but against Dallas, who had prime Dirk Nowitzki, Wade was phenomenal. In each of 6 games, Dwyane Wade was a leading scorer for Miami averaging 34.7 points and 7.8 rebounds, at the same time playing 43 minutes! Without Wade, it would have been impossible to win the first title. But The Flash made everything, put a lot of effort and the Heat became champions.

They once again became the champions in 2012 and 2013.

Dirk Nowitzki vs Miami, 2011

Dirk Nowitzki should not have ended his career without a championship ring and in 2011 he achieved this feat. Against Miami which were considered heavy favorites in the finals, Nowitzki led his team to a 4:2 win. The Heat were favorites because they had players like Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh. However, Nowitzki, with his trademark fadeaways and incredible shots helped Dallas win the championship title.

Dirk was 33 years old in the finals, but the age did not make an impact on his performance.

Nowitzki, who is from Germany brought a huge joy and pride to his country. He is considered to be one of the greatest European players of all time and in Germany, everyone remembers Dirk’s career with happiness. His influence was so great that it even reached the gambling industry, which is rapidly developing in Germany. A bunch of new betting sites appeared after the 2011 finals. Dallas were a heavy underdog against the Heat, but Nowitzki’s performance completely turned everything upside down. Not only in Germany but in Dallas as well, betting got an absolutely different face. Nowitzki was the main reason for that. The success in 2011 paved the way not only for the future of Dallas, but it had a significant impact on betting also.

LeBron James vs Toronto, 2018

This performance in my opinion is definitely the best one in NBA history. LeBron James won another, the fourth title in the NBA this season, but individually 2018 will be remembered as the greatest LeBron we have ever seen.

This was the year when James was left without Kyrie Irving. Toronto won the regular season and against the Cavaliers, every expert considered the Raptors favorite. But LeBron James had a different opinion about that.

During the series, we have seen LeBron which is by far the best one. In the second game, he had 43 points and 14 assists. Dictating the tempo, playmaking, making incredible fadeaway shots from long range, defending, assisting, blocking – this was a pivotal moment for the entire Toronto team. LeBron single-handedly destroyed the Toronto Raptors with an overall score of 4:0. Toronto became “LeBronto” after this series. And whoever says that James is not clutch and cannot carry a team must watch this series.

Shaquille O’Neal vs Sacramento, 2001

Shaq is undoubtedly one of the most dominant centers of the NBA. In the paint, it was nearly impossible to stop him. His movements, mass, and incredible stature made it a nightmare for defenders to defend against him. 

Against Sacramento, in 2001 he was simply astonishing. In one game he managed to collect 44 points, 21 rebounds, and 7 blocks to help his team win the match. With Kobe, Bryant Shaq formed a formidable alliance, which resulted in 3 consecutive championships.

LeBron James vs Golden State Warriors, 2018

LeBron James was swept in this series. But some people suggest that despite that, he should have won the MVP award for the performance he pulled off against a fantastic Warriors. In the first match, even 51 points were not enough for the Cavaliers to somehow win a game. Against Toronto, LeBron managed to carry the team, but against the Warriors, with Durant, Curry, Thompson, and Green in the roster the task became impossible. And really we cannot blame LeBron for that.

Michael Jordan vs Utah Jazz, 1998

Michael Jordan is a symbol of the NBA. His whole career is a big great performance. But the last season in 1998, after which he retired, was something we will never forget.

Against the Utah Jazz, with John Stockton and Karl Malone in the team, Jordan was outstanding and instantly we will remember his final shot, which brought Michael the 6th championship. But in other games as well, Michael Jordan was unstoppable. What a great series to end your career.

Kevin Durant vs Cleveland Cavaliers, 2017

When KD moved to the Golden State Warriors, everyone was sure that his championship was only a matter of time. In 2012 he lost the finals against determined LeBron James, but alongside Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, Durant won 2 championships. In 2017 he amassed 28.5 points and 7.9 rebounds. 

Kevin Durant is one of the greatest players of all time and he proved it in 2017, even though he became part of the team which already had numerous all-star players.

Kobe Bryant vs Boston Celtics, 2008

Kobe also lost to the Boston Celtics in 2008, but the performance from the Lakers’ legend truly deserves our attention. Averaging 30.1 points, he was not enough for the Celtics, which had Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo in the team. He did everything for the Lakers, but basketball is not an individual sport and you also need assistance from your teammates.


We can include even more performances in this list, but the ones are probably the best ones we have ever seen. The NBA still continues and we will be able to witness even greater moments.

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