Only 5 players have ever gone undefeated in the playoffs, and one of them is Michael Jordan. The 1998 Bulls went 21-0 in the playoffs, and the only other team to do it was the 1972 Lakers. Along with Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain (who played in only 4 games of the 1972 NBA Playoffs) and LeBron James are the only teams to accomplish the feat. There have been 23 teams to go through the playoffs without a loss—the most being the 1971-72 Lakers and 1971-72 Bucks who went 21-0. If you haven’t picked up a basketball in a while, you might want to check out the NBA playoffs this year to see if any of these records are still being held by your favorite team.
There are a lot of records that have been broken in the history of the NBA playoffs, but one of the most notable is an unbelievable 15 records that will remain unbreakable, even after a 20th century Hall of Fame player has retired.
The 15 Most Unbreakable Records In NBA Playoffs History: Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Wilt Chamberlain All Hold Records That Will Stand Forever
The NBA playoffs are a chance for the best players to make a name for themselves and cement their reputation as the best ever. It is rare for players to reach their full potential in the postseason, and only the special elite do so. The reason is that the playoffs create a unique pressure and expectation that is not present in the regular season.
If you analyze the performances of some superstar players, there are a few playoff records that will stand the test of time. It’s highly unlikely that these 15 playoff records will ever be broken, and it’s time to list them as the 2021 NBA Playoffs get underway.
15. Most interceptions per game
10, Allen Iverson, Philadelphia 76ers vs Orlando Magic, 13. May 1999.
Allen Iverson threw an incredible number of interceptions against the Orlando Magic in 1999. Known primarily as an undrafted scorer, Iverson was also a pest in the passages, and the 23-year-old guard averaged 2.3 GSP in the regular season.
It’s almost guaranteed that no player will commit as many steals as the lightning-fast Iverson in his third NBA season.
14. Most turnovers per game
12 James Harden, Houston Rockets vs Golden State Warriors, 27. May 2015.
James Harden is one of the best shooting guards in history, but the stigma of not making the playoffs during his career doesn’t seem to be going away. Beard’s record of 12 turnovers in 2015 against his Warriors nemeses is nothing short of an accomplishment.
Even with the high utilization rate of the modern game’s best players, it’s likely that Harden’s rather forgettable record won’t be broken anytime soon.
13. Most offensive rebounds per game
15 Moses Malone, Houston Rockets vs. Washington Bullets, 21. April 1977 (OT)
Moses Malone is one of the greatest big men in history and perhaps the best offensive rebounder in history. Moses once grabbed an incredible 15 offensive rebounds against the Bullets in 1977, which is not surprising given his other records. Malone also has two records for most offensive rebounds in one game of the regular season, 21 and 19 on two different occasions, so that’s clearly his biggest talent.
12. Highest number of passes in a quarter
11 John Stockton, Utah Jazz vs. San Antonio Spurs, 5. May 1994.
John Stockton is the all-time leader in total assists, so it’s no surprise that he holds the record for assists in the playoffs. Nonetheless, dishing out double-digit assists for a quarter is a video game, and it shows Stockton’s basketball IQ, allowing him to get easy shots in front of his teammates. Of course, this record is a testament to the greatness of Karl Malone, as together this duo was an unstoppable offensive force.
11. Most free throw attempts in a half
28, DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers vs Houston Rockets 10. May 2015 (10/28)
DeAndre Jordan is shooting 47.5% from the line in his career, so he’s obviously a bad free throw shooter. That was the mindset of the Houston Rockets in the 2015 game, where they employed the Hack a Jordan strategy in the first half to slow the game down and encourage missed sessions. On paper it worked, as Jordan made 10 of 28 shots, but in the end the Clippers still won the game.
10. Highest average number of points per game
46.3 Jerry West, Los Angeles Lakers (vs. Baltimore Bullets), 1965.
Jerry West is one of the best scorers in NBA history, as his lightning fast jump shot was an unstoppable asset in his near perfect offensive game. In 1965, West scored a whopping 46.3 PPG per game for the Lakers against the Bulletts, a statistic that would never be surpassed again. It was West’s goals that helped the Lakers beat the Bulletts in the division finals, and the Logos will forever bear his name on that unmatched record.
9. Maximum number of 50-point games in play-offs
8 Michael Jordan
Jordan is the top scorer of all time and holds the record for most games played with 50 points – 8. Jordan was 6-2 in those games and never scored less than 50% in a game. It’s absolutely incredible that this statistic is real, especially when you consider that Jordan scored 63 and 56 points in two of those 8 games. There will never be a second Michael Jordan, and he will appear on this list more than once.
8. Most free throws in a game
30, Bob Cousy, Boston Celtics vs. Syracuse Nationals March 21, 1953 (4 OT) (30/32)
The legendary Boston Celtics point guard has already made 30 of 32 free throws in one game. For his career, Cousy shot 80.3% from the line and was a good shooter, but hitting 30 shots from the foul line is really unusual. It’s nearly impossible for a player to make 30 attempts, let alone 30 throws, so that record will belong to Cousy for the foreseeable future.
7. Highest score of the half
39, Sleepy Floyd, Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 10. May 1987.
Eric August Sleepy Floyd scored the most points in a half in a playoff game with 39. The explosive guard single-handedly led the Golden State Warriors to victory over the Showtime Lakers. He dominated the second half, taking 12 shots on goal and scoring 29 points in the fourth quarter.
Even more impressive, Floyd hit 12 of 13 total pitches and said the rim was wide open and he couldn’t miss. Such a performance will probably never happen again in the playoffs.
6. Most minutes per game
67 Red Rocha and Paul Seymour, Syracuse Nationals vs Boston Celtics 21. March 1953 (4 OT)
We are in an era of extended rest and leisure for superstar players who prefer to manage their workloads themselves. But that’s not the case in the playoffs, and it certainly wasn’t the case in the 1950s. Red Rocha and Paul Seymour played up to 67 minutes in a 4 overtime playoff game in 1953. The next record holder in Philadelphia 76ers history was Wilt Chamberlain with 58, then Allen Iverson with 53. That means Rocha and Seymour from the city of brotherly love will keep that record forever.
5. Highest score in a play-off game
63 Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls vs Boston Celtics, 20. April 1986 (2 OT)
It’s no surprise that GOAT Michael Jordan, one of the best postseason players in NBA history, is back on this list. Jordan once scored 63 points, eliminating Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics, which led Bird to make profane comments about Jordan’s humanity.
Although Jordan shot 22-41 from the field, the Bulls ultimately lost to the Celtics in what would become a defining moment in Jordan’s incredible career.
4. Most free throw attempts in a game
39, Shaquille O’Neal, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Indiana Pacers on the 9th. June 2000. (18/39)
Shaquille O’Neal has been a dominant player, but even he admits his free throws are the most embarrassing part of his game. As good as Shaq is, he’s never been able to hit free throws that often. This led to opponents constantly attacking him in the paint, as it is always better to give up one point than guarantee two.
Shaq shot 39 free throws against the Indiana Pacers in 2000, less than 50 percent. This season didn’t matter because Shaq and the Lakers won the NBA title anyway.
3. Most rebounds per game
41, Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia 76ers vs Boston Celtics, 5. April 1967.
Wilt Chamberlain is on every basketball record list because he has so many unbroken records. Wilts’ size, athletic ability and dominance in the zone allowed him to grab 41 rebounds in a game against the Celtics in 1967. No player comes close to that record because games with 25 rebounds are rare anyway. There will never be another like Wilt, and his record will stand the test of time.
2. Most minutes in playoffs
10,811 minutes LeBron James
No player can play as many games and minutes as LeBron has in his entire career. LeBron is a unique athlete who may be the luckiest player in history not to suffer a single serious injury. LeBron has been a machine since the first year of his career, playing a lot of minutes in the regular season and in the playoffs. With 10,811 total minutes, no player has come close to the King (Tim Duncan is second with 9,370 minutes) and no one ever will.
1. Total points in playoffs
7,509 points LeBron James
We will never see another superstar with the longevity and consistency of LeBron James. We’ve seen Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stay healthy and consistent for so long, but James plays the role of ball handler and remains the best player in the game. James broke Michael Jordan’s playoff scoring record (5,987 points) in 2017 and hasn’t looked back since. There will never be another player like LeBron James, which means his playoff scoring record will never be broken.
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