How would you compare LeBron James and Michael Jordan in the NBA playoffs?

Both of these players are the greatest playoff performers in NBA history.

With respect to Jerry West, Allen Iverson, Rick Barry, Bernard King, Hakeem, Duncan, Bill Russell, Dirk, Jimmy Butler, Jamal Murray, Reggie Miller, James Worthy, Walt Frazier, Sam Jones etc these guys all had an extra gear in the playoffs for sure and that’s why they are all all time greats.

However when it comes to the greatest, there’s a reason why Jordan and Lebron are the two most cited players in the GOAT conversation and the playoffs is a big reason why. I’ll list the 10 best series from each.

Jordan

1986 vs Celtics – 43.7 PPG / 6.3 RPG / 5.7 APG

1987 vs Celtics – 35.7 PPG / 7.0 RPG / 6.0 APG

1988 vs Cavs – 45.2 PPG / 5.4 RPG / 4.8 APG

1989 vs Cavs – 39.8 PPG / 5.8 RPG / 8.2 APG

1990 vs 76ers – 43.0 PPG / 6.6 RPG / 7.4 APG

1992 vs Heat – 45.0 PPG / 9.7 RPG / 6.7 APG

1992 vs Blazers – 35.8 PPG / 4.8 RPG / 6.5 APG

1993 vs Suns – 41.0 PPG / 8.5 RPG / 6.3 APG

1997 vs Bullets – 37.3 PPG / 5.7 RPG / 5.3 APG

1998 vs Nets – 36.3 PPG / 5.0 RPG / 2.7 APG

These numbers all seem like they are out of a video game but Jordan was an absolute scoring monster in the playoffs, bar none the greatest playoff scorer in NBA history and this is why Jordan and Kobe should never be compared because Jordan was averaging 36 PPG in a playoff series at age 34 while Kobe wasn’t even making the playoffs after age 32, but I digress.

Lebron

2006 vs Wizards – 35.7 PPG / 7.5 RPG / 5.7 APG

2009 vs Hawks – 33.8 PPG / 8.3 RPG / 6.0 APG

2009 vs Magic – 38.5 PPG / 8.3 RPG / 8.0 APG

2012 vs Celtics – 33.6 PPG / 11.0 RPG / 3.9 APG

2015 vs Warriors – 35.8 PPG / 13.3 RPG / 8.8 APG

2017 vs Warriors – 33.6 PPG / 12.0 RPG / 10.0 APG

2018 vs Pacers – 34.4 PPG / 10.0 RPG / 7.7 APG

2018 vs Raptors – 34.0 PPG / 8.3 RPG / 11.3 APG

2018 vs Celtics – 33.6 PPG / 9.0 RPG / 8.4 APG

2018 vs Warriors – 34.0 PPG / 8.5 RPG / 10.0 APG

Also video game numbers. Worth to note Bron never had any series averaging over 40+ PPG like Jordan did, but he does tend to have better rebounding and assist numbers as expected, though Jordan was a better rebounder and passer than people think – he did average 32/8/8 in 1989 when he was asked to play some PG duties which is right up there with any Lebron year.

Conclusions.. Both Jordan and Lebron are right up there when it comes to the playoffs. Pick your poison. Jordan was a better peak playoff scorer, Lebron (esp 2018 Bron) was the better peak all around player.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeJIJ5SJtvI

Don’t take it from me.. sports staticians pretty much sum it up here: Jordan is a slightly better defender, Lebron is a slightly better passer but overall they are almost the same.

Awards wise Jordan is ahead. But I find it ridiculous that many casuals online say Jordan is way better, no from an unbiased perspective, they are very very close.


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