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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Acing the Finals Test

Winning an NBA championship is the ultimate validation of a great player's career. Unless he passes that test there is an empty space on his resume. Nine of the 10 players who have the highest career NBA Finals scoring averages captured at least one NBA championship. I look at the Finals accomplishments of each of those 10 players, plus one bonus player and a handful of active players who have averaged 20-plus ppg in their Finals careers, in my newest article for NBCSports.com:

Acing the Finals Test

Here is a chart with more information about these players:

Top 10 Career Finals Scoring Averages


Player... PPG...Points...Games... Series W-L

Rick Barry... 36.3... 363... 10... 1-1
Michael Jordan... 33.6... 1176... 35... 6-0
Jerry West... 30.5... 1679... 55... 1-8
Shaquille O'Neal... 28.8... 865... 30... 4-2
Bob Pettit... 28.4... 709... 25... 1-3
Hakeem Olajuwon... 27.5... 467... 17... 2-1
Elgin Baylor... 26.4... 1161... 44... 0-7
Julius Erving... 25.5... 561... 22... 1-3
Joe Fulks... 24.7... 272... 11... 1-1
Clyde Drexler... 24.5... 367... 15 1-2

Top Active Players

Shaquille O'Neal... 28.8... 865... 30... 4-2
Tim Duncan... 23.7... 426... 18... 3-0
Kobe Bryant... 22.2... 421... 19... 3-1
Chauncey Billups... 20.7... 248... 12... 1-1
Jason Kidd...20.1... 201... 10... 0-2

Minimum of 10 Finals games

posted by David Friedman @ 5:59 PM

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