The NBA playoffs are a stage that separates superstars from legends. Obviously, we can’t really be talking about legacies every game of every round in the postseason, but it is certainly a common space for many in the media. Still, in terms of basketball abilities and handling pressure, the playoffs really show a different type of mentality for many athletes.
Scoring at a high level in the NBA is a unique ability that not every player has. Of course, each has a different role inside a team dynamic. But those who are asked to score consistently have a big responsibility in the outcome of many of the team’s games.
In playoff history, Michael Jordan is arguably the biggest icon and example of what a scorer can do for his team. Jordan is the all-time leader in career scoring average in the regular season (30.1 points per game) and also the all-time leader in playoff history (33.4 ppg).
Top three active players with highest career scoring average in the playoffs
However, this list will only include active players. In that regard, Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic has had an extraordinary start to his postseason career, being ahead of Jordan’s average until recently.
This article will give you the three active players with the highest career scoring average in playoff history.
Without further ado, let us take a look.
No. 3: LeBron James
LeBron James isn’t in the GOAT conversation only for his longevity or unreal regular-season achievements, but mainly for his playoff exploits.
James has played in 10 NBA Finals and has four titles and four Finals MVP awards to his name. Moreover, he owns the records for most games played and points in playoff history.
As you’d easily imagine, playing more games than the rest doesn’t always help in terms of having a high scoring average. But that doesn’t really play a part in his career.
“The King” has played 266 playoff games, averaging 28.7 ppg. Among the top 15 active players in playoff scoring average, only three others have played at least 100 games. Kevin Durant (155 games) is the closest to James (266).
No. 2: Kevin Durant
A two-time champion and two-time Finals MVP, Kevin Durant‘s legacy in the playoffs is solid among active players. However, he certainly receives a lot of criticism for some struggles during his postseason career.
Still, KD has lived up to his reputation as one of the greatest scorers in NBA history during the playoffs. Durant is fourth in league history in terms of career scoring average with 27.1 ppg, and first among active players.
Durant has averaged 29.4 ppg in the postseason, which is the fourth-best in league history and the second-most among active players.
No. 1: Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic‘s Dallas Mavericks are still alive in the 2022 postseason, which means that this list could change. Still, the Slovenian star has been stellar in his 20 career playoff games so far, although he is just getting started.
Two previous first-round matchups against the favored LA Clippers showed how incredible Doncic can be offensively and how the stage wasn’t too big for him.
Now that he’s led Dallas to the second round for the first time, we’re also seeing Doncic starting to put some more trust in his teammates offensively. That’s something most great scorers have to go through during their growth in the postseason.
Doncic averages 32.8 ppg in his postseason career. That’s the best among active players and the second-highest in league history if we do not make a distinction in terms of games played.