The 25 Greatest Individual Performances Ever in the NBA Playoffs

Zoe Samuel

Image: Tim Shelby via Wikimedia Commons

About This Article

Ever since the NBL and BAA merged in the late 1940s to become the NBA, it has been the preeminent professional basketball association in the world. The NBA has stood apart from many American sports in its wholehearted embrace of its global audience. Its level of ethnic diversity puts many other sports to shame. NBA players come from all four corners of the globe and in every shade. The NBA passed through historical eras emphasizing certain styles of play or players. There was a time when so-called "big men," players standing over 6 feet, 10 inches or so, were the holy grail of the game. Scouts searched the deepest, darkest corners of the undeveloped world for undeveloped talent. Today, as with many sports, basketball is dominated by plays determined by statistics, with the 2-point shot quickly becoming a distant memory.

The NBA playoffs also stand unique among annual rituals in sports. Of the 30 NBA teams, 16 of them, more than half, end up in the playoffs. This means that middling teams still have the opportunity to prove themselves against the greatest in the game. Teams with one star player get to show off the abilities of their star on the biggest stage, even if they are destined to lose. In this crucible, greatness is forged, and legendary games are played. Read on to find out more about the 25 greatest individual performances in the NBA playoffs.

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