Top 5 NBA Playoff Performances (modern era)
#5 Michael Jordan
1997 NBA Finals Game 5
Ever had the flu? Ever had the flu then proceed to play basketball? Me neither. But Jordan is a rare human being. Playing with the flu, and struggling to remain sufficiently hydrated, Jordan did what he did best - take over when it mattered most.
#4 James Worthy
1988 NBA Finals Game 7
"Big Game James" Worthy had an epic performance on the most epic of stages - NBA Finals Game 7. Every stat earned in Worthy's triple double was necessary and catapulted the Lakers to basketball immortality.
#3 Reggie Miller
1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 1
Free Throw Shots: 14/15
Eight points in nine seconds. Yes, Reggie scored 8 points in just 9 seconds to steal game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals after trailing with only 18 seconds remaining in regulation. Miller was not only at war with the Knicks, he was also battling filmmaker Spike Lee who was seated in the front row. After making two late free throws to seal the Pacers victory, Miller famously directed a choking gesture at Lee indicated Lee's beloved Knicks had choked under pressure.
#2 Isiah Thomas
1988 NBA Finals Game 6
Win or lose (in this case lose) this was the grittiest playoff performance in NBA history. Thomas significantly injured his ankle in this historic game but still managed to return (whilst hobbling on one leg) and score 25 points in the third quarter, nearly willing his team to victory.
#1 Earvin "Magic" Johnson
1980 NBA Finals Game 6
Foul Shots: 14/14
In the absence of NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic was forced to play center. The versatility and competitiveness necessary to remain effective as the center after starting every other game as point guard is impossible. He ran the offense through the post and did so in historic fashion. Magic was dominant even from a foreign position.
1986 Eastern Conference Playoffs Round 1
1994 Western Conference Playoffs Round 1 Game 3