Saturday, May 14, 2016

Top NBA Playoff Performers of the 1990's


Michael Jordan doing what he did best — embarrassing opponents.
Michael Jordan and the Bulls
beat the Jazz twice in the NBA Finals

The beginning of the 1990's picked up right where the '80's left off in the NBA.  The game was up-tempo, good shooters were abundant and fans were treated to a nice blend of inside/outside offensive styles.  From 1982-1992 teams averaged 107 points per game in the playoffs.  Magic, Larry and Michael had brought us halcyon times.
  
Then a sea change.  Magic Johnson retired and Pat Riley went to coach the Knicks.

During the '93 playoffs teams scored just under 100 points per game.  The next year was more extreme with shooting at it's lowest since the '70s and pace grinding to a halt.   Scoring dipped to 94 points/game throughout those playoffs.  Defense dominated the Knicks/Rockets NBA Finals when both teams scored 86 points a game.

The league decided that in order to make the game more appealing they needed to boost scoring.  The three-point line was moved in nearly two feet beginning with the 1995 season.  Shooting immediately jumped to an all-time high for the playoffs.  Games in the '95 Finals were played in the 110's as three's rained down from the hands of Penny Hardaway and Robert Horry.

The three-point line was kept in for two more seasons until 1998 when shooting was back on the decline.

With that background out of the way....


Top NBA Playoff Performers of the 1990's 
ranked by NET Points   


Playoffs Team Games NET POINTS Points/Game
Michael Jordan 1990 CHI 16 91 37
Terry Porter 1990 POR 21 86 21
Jeff Hornacek 1990 PHO 16 47 19
Hersey Hawkins 1990 PHI 10 44 24
Isiah Thomas 1990 DET 20 44 20






Michael Jordan 1991 CHI 17 88 31
Magic Johnson 1991 LAL 19 68 22
Sam Perkins 1991 LAL 19 67 18
Terry Porter 1991 POR 16 50 18
Vlade Divac 1991 LAL 19 49 13






Terry Porter 1992 POR 21 102 21
Michael Jordan 1992 CHI 22 95 35
Karl Malone 1992 UTA 16 89 29
Brad Daugherty 1992 CLE 17 67 22
Mark Price 1992 CLE 17 57 19






Michael Jordan 1993 CHI 19 64 35
Charles Barkley 1993 PHO 24 60 27
Shawn Kemp 1993 SEA 19 47 16
Kevin Johnson 1993 PHO 23 43 18







Playoffs Team Games NET POINTS Points/Game
Hakeem Olajuwon 1994 HOU 23 79 29
Reggie Miller 1994 IND 16 52 23
Jeff Hornacek 1994 UTA 16 38 15






Reggie Miller 1995 IND 17 91 26
Shaquille O'Neal 1995 ORL 21 86 26
Hakeem Olajuwon 1995 HOU 22 77 33
Clyde Drexler 1995 HOU 22 66 20
Rik Smits 1995 IND 17 62 20
Kevin Johnson 1995 PHO 10 61 25






Shawn Kemp 1996 SEA 20 91 21
Jeff Hornacek 1996 UTA 18 72 18
Michael Jordan 1996 CHI 18 63 31
Gary Payton 1996 SEA 21 52 21
Hersey Hawkins 1996 SEA 21 49 12







Playoffs Team Games NET POINTS Points/Game
Hakeem Olajuwon 1997 HOU 16 75 23
John Stockton 1997 UTA 20 65 16
Mario Elie 1997 HOU 16 41 12
Dikembe Mutombo 1997 ATL 10 40 15






Shaquille O'Neal 1998 LAL 13 68 30
Michael Jordan 1998 CHI 21 56 32
Reggie Miller 1998 IND 16 48 20
Eddie Jones 1998 LAL 13 40 17






Tim Duncan 1999 SAS 17 50 23
Marcus Camby 1999 NYK 20 32 10
David Robinson 1999 SAS 17 30 16







Italics indicates annual leader

Bold indicates decade record

*Thanks to the Basketball-Reference Play Index

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Performers of the 1980's                                                         Performers of the 2000's