Michael Jordan is considered the greatest basketball player of all time and one of the best athletes ever. He’s only missed a few games in his career due to injury, but those injuries often come during playoff season when he needs rest from playing so many minutes. However, according to some experts who aren’t professional sports analysts like myself, Michael Jordan actually averaged 30 PPG for 12 out 13 NBA playoff seasons! Only once was that not true – during his rookie season.
Michael Jordan averaged at least 30 points in 12 of 13 playoff seasons, the only time he didn’t was during his rookie season.
Michael Jordan’s spectacular postseason runs have helped cement his status as the greatest player of all time. Jordan’s perfect 6-0 record in NBA Finals games and six Finals MVP awards also assist. The figures, on the other hand, are something we don’t get into. Those, too, are stunning.
Jordan averaged at least 30.0 points per game in 12 of his 13 career postseason trips. Jordan’s only season in which he did not average at least 30.0 points per game came as a rookie, when he nearly missed the cut. Does this evidence support the claim that he is the most dominating player in postseason history? Let’s take a look at the postseason point totals from year to year.
29.3 PPG in 1984-85
The Bulls moved from being a laughingstock to reaching the playoffs thanks to Jordan. The previous three years, the squad has failed to make the playoffs. The Bulls were defeated 3-1 by the Milwaukee Bucks in the series, but Jordan made an outstanding first impression in his maiden postseason game.
Jordan finished with 117 points on 43.6 percent shooting from the field. He averaged 8.5 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game in addition to his 29.3 points per game. The inexperienced Bulls were just no match in the end.
43.7 PPG in 1985-86
Jordan scored 117 points in four games the previous year, but just three games this time for 131 points. The Bulls were swept in three games by the Larry Bird-led Boston Celtics, although Jordan scored 16 points more than in his last playoff appearance. Jordan only took 18 more shots than last year, but his assists were down three.
Jordan made 50.5 percent of his shots from the field. The Celtics defeated the Bulls in three games despite scoring more than 40 points per game. However, this isn’t the first time Jordan has averaged 40 points in a series.
35.7 PPG in 1986-87
Chicago was improving, but their playoff success remained the same. In the first round, the Bulls were defeated by the Celtics in three games. Jordan scored 35.7 points a game while shooting 41.7 percent from the field. Bird and Kevin McHale were a strong pair for the Celtics, therefore they had a superior team.
The Showtime Lakers would have been ready for the Bulls even if they had advanced to the NBA Finals. We wouldn’t get to watch the contest until Jordan was nearing the end of his career.
36.3 PPG in 1987-88
Jordan would win his first postseason series three years later. He had a good offensive series in a year in which he won the Defensive Player of the Year Award. Jordan led the Bulls to a five-game victory against the Cavaliers, averaging 45.2 points per game. Who knows whether the club would have been able to pull off the 3-2 victory without Jordan.
The Chicago Bulls were paired with the Detroit Pistons in the second round. For the following two years, the combination of Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, and Bill Laimbeer created a ferocious rivalry between the two organizations. Jordan scored 27.4 points per game to lead the Pistons to a 4-1 victory against the Bulls.
35.0 PPG in 1988-89
The Cavaliers felt they had a chance to avenge themselves, but the Bulls won the first round once again, this time with the famed game-winner known as ‘The Shot.’ Jordan’s 39.8 points per game in the series proved to be a game-changer once again. Jordan led the squad to a six-game victory against the Knicks in the second round, averaging 35.7 points per game. This set up a rematch against the Pistons, but this time with a trip to the NBA Finals at stake.
Jordan had a 10% better shooting percentage versus the Pistons in the series. Despite Jordan’s 29.7 point per game average, the Pistons beat the Bulls in six games. After that, Thomas would lead the Pistons to the NBA Finals.
37.3 PPG in 1989-90
The Bulls would face the Pistons in the playoffs for the third year in a row. Jordan scored 36.8 points per game in a four-game series against the Bucks to get there. Jordan averaged 43.0 points per game in a five-game series against the 76ers in the second round. This would be one of the most tense Conference Finals meetings in history.
The Pistons and Bulls have a long-standing rivalry that has resulted in ill blood between the two clubs. Despite Jordan’s 32.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game, the Pistons would win 4-3. This defeat is said to have motivated Jordan and the Bulls to hit the gym and make a run for the championship the following season.
30.9 PPG in 1990-91
The first of the three championships won during this time period was followed by a dominating playoff run. Jordan first swept the Knicks in three games, averaging 29.0 points each game. Jordan averaged 33.4 points per game in a 4-1 series victory against the 76ers in the second round. This would put the Pistons and Bulls in the playoffs for the fourth year in a row.
Jordan scored 29.8 points per game in a four-game sweep of the Pistons with a trip to the Finals on the line. It was the historic moment when the Pistons players refused to shake the hands of the Bulls, which some blame for Thomas’ exclusion from the 1992 Dream Team. Jordan was named Finals MVP after averaging 31.2 points and 11.4 assists in a 4-1 victory over the Lakers and Magic Johnson in the Finals.
36.0 PPG in 1991-92
In the first round, the Miami Heat had no chance. Jordan averaged 45.0 points per game in the three-game sweep, the greatest per-game total of all of his postseason series appearances. Jordan averaged 31.3 points in a seven-game series against the Knicks in the second round.
Jordan scored 31.7 points per game in a 4-2 triumph against the Cavaliers in the Conference Finals. Following that, he averaged 35.8 points per game against the Trail Blazers. His totals earned him his second consecutive NBA Finals MVP award.
34.6 PPG in 1992-93
Jordan’s impressive first-round playoff performance followed a pattern. The Bulls defeated the Hawks 3-0, with Jordan averaging 34.3 points per game. Jordan, on the other hand, was consistent in the following two sets. Jordan averaged 31.0 points in a 4-0 sweep of Cleveland and 32.2 points in a 4-2 triumph over the Knicks in the second round.
Jordan needed to achieve legendary status in order to complete the three-peat. Jordan led the squad to victory against the Suns and 1993 MVP Charles Barkley, averaging 41.0 points per game. The 41.0 points per game average is still a Finals high.
31.7 PPG in 1994-95
Jordan returned in the midst of the 1994-1995 season, so he wasn’t the same athlete we’d seen in previous seasons. Jordan scored 32.3 points per game in the 3-1 triumph against the Charlotte Hornets in the first round, despite the fact that he was still working on his fitness. The Bulls, on the other hand, were eliminated 4-2 by the Magic in the second round.
Jordan averaged 31.0 points each game in the series. The Magic were led to the NBA Finals by Shaq and Penny Hardaway, who helped the Rockets win their second consecutive championship. Jordan’s brilliance would be reborn before their second three-peat.
30.7 PPG in 1995-96
Jordan came close to missing 30 points a game, but it all worked out in the end, as the Bulls set a new season record with 72 victories and won their fourth championship together. The postseason run started with a three-game sweep of the Heat, averaging 30.0 points per game. Jordan averaged 36.0 points per game against the Knicks in the second round.
Jordan got his vengeance in the Conference Finals, leading the Bulls to a four-game sweep of the Magic, averaging 29.5 points per game. Gary Payton of the Seattle SuperSonics played some of the strongest defense in the Finals, limiting Jordan to to 27.3 points per game.
31.6 PPG in 1996-97
Jordan looked like he was in his prime in the first round, scoring 37.3 points per game in a three-game sweep of Washington. However, in the second round, he averaged 26.6 points per game, his lowest in a series. As a result, the Bulls defeated the Hawks in five games. Jordan led the club to a five-game victory against the Heat in the Conference Finals, averaging 30.2 points per game.
The Bulls had a difficult assignment in the Finals against the Jazz. The duo of John Stockton and Karl Malone was a formidable opponent. Jordan was the clear winner, averaging 32.3 points each game.
32.8 PPG in 1997-98
The Bulls achieved their second three-peat in Jordan’s last postseason campaign. Jordan scored 36.3 points per game in a three-game sweep of the Nets in the first round. Jordan averaged 29.6 points per game in a five-game, 4-1 triumph against the Hornets in the second round. The club wouldn’t face their first significant challenge until the Conference Finals.
Reggie Miller was on a quest to unseat Jordan, but Jordan’s 31.7 points per game led the Bulls to a seven-game victory against the Pacers. This set up a rematch with the Jazz, for whom Malone had earned the regular-season MVP award. Jordan was reportedly unhappy about it, so he came to play in the Finals, averaging 33.5 points per game and winning his sixth Finals MVP award.
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Michael Jordan Averaged At Least 30 PPG In 12 Of 13 Playoffs, The Only Time He Didn’t Was During Rookie Season. LeBron James has played in 16 seasons of his career. Reference: how many seasons has lebron played.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many PPG did Michael Jordan average in the playoffs?
A: In the 1997 NBA Playoffs, Michael Jordan averaged 34.8 PPG
How many points per game did Michael Jordan average his rookie year?
A: MJ averaged 25.1 points per game.
How many years did it take Jordan to win a championship?
A: Jordan Smith won his first NBA Championship with the Chicago Bulls in 1998, after eight years.
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