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The Best NBA Finals Performances Since 1991 (*according to statistical +/-)

Posted by Neil Paine on June 9, 2011

With the NBA Finals locked up 2-2, it seems like a good time to look at the best Finals performances in our database (which extends back to 1991 for playoff games). The metric of choice is Statistical Plus-Minus, an estimate of the player's contribution to the team's point differential per 100 possessions, using his boxscore stats as inputs. And, as an added twist, I weighted each game of the Finals according to its series leverage (the expected change in series win probability of the game in question relative to the series' overall average per-game change), meaning that performance counts more in the games that contain the most pressure. Here is every player in the dataset who played a minimum of 24 minutes per team game:

Rk Player Year Tm Opp G GS MPG PPG TS% RPG APG TO/G SPG BPG OSPM DSPM SPM
1 Michael Jordan 1991 CHI LAL 5 5 44.0 31.2 61.2 6.6 11.4 3.6 2.8 1.4 11.59 2.81 14.40
2 Dwyane Wade 2011 MIA DAL 4 4 39.6 29.8 63.8 8.0 4.3 1.5 1.5 1.8 12.99 -0.82 12.16
3 Dwyane Wade 2006 MIA DAL 6 6 43.5 34.7 57.2 7.8 3.8 3.7 2.7 1.0 7.53 2.74 10.26
4 Michael Jordan 1992 CHI POR 6 6 42.3 35.8 61.7 4.8 6.5 4.0 1.7 0.3 9.46 0.49 9.95
5 Shaquille O'Neal 2002 LAL NJN 4 4 41.5 36.3 63.6 12.3 3.8 3.5 0.5 2.8 11.03 -1.18 9.85
6 Michael Jordan 1993 CHI PHO 6 6 45.7 41.0 55.8 8.5 6.3 2.7 1.7 0.7 12.27 -2.87 9.40
7 Manu Ginobili 2007 SAS CLE 4 0 29.3 17.8 57.1 5.8 2.5 2.3 1.3 0.0 4.02 5.11 9.13
8 Shaquille O'Neal 2000 LAL IND 6 6 45.5 38.0 57.6 16.7 2.3 2.2 1.0 2.7 10.39 -1.36 9.03
9 Michael Jordan 1998 CHI UTA 6 6 41.7 33.5 51.6 4.0 2.3 1.7 1.8 0.7 10.60 -1.73 8.87
10 David Robinson 2003 SAS NJN 6 6 26.8 10.8 66.1 7.3 0.7 0.5 1.2 1.8 3.36 5.49 8.85
11 Manu Ginobili 2005 SAS DET 7 7 36.0 18.7 63.6 5.9 4.0 3.3 1.3 0.1 6.20 2.21 8.41
12 Tim Duncan 2003 SAS NJN 6 6 43.8 24.2 54.6 17.0 5.3 3.8 1.0 5.3 2.40 5.89 8.29
13 Michael Jordan 1997 CHI UTA 6 6 42.7 32.3 53.2 7.0 6.0 2.2 1.2 0.8 9.39 -1.29 8.10
14 Derek Harper 1994 NYK HOU 7 7 38.0 16.4 59.0 3.0 6.0 1.7 2.4 0.1 5.75 2.06 7.80
15 Chauncey Billups 2004 DET LAL 5 5 38.4 21.0 69.6 3.2 5.2 2.6 1.2 0.0 8.63 -0.84 7.79
16 Kobe Bryant 2010 LAL BOS 7 7 41.2 28.6 52.8 8.0 3.9 3.9 2.1 0.7 4.45 3.17 7.62
17 Tim Duncan 1999 SAS NYK 5 5 45.8 27.4 59.9 14.0 2.4 3.4 1.0 2.2 4.24 3.29 7.53
18 Kobe Bryant 2009 LAL ORL 5 5 43.8 32.4 52.5 5.6 7.4 3.2 1.4 1.4 7.35 0.15 7.50
19 Tim Duncan 2007 SAS CLE 4 4 37.3 18.3 48.3 11.5 3.8 2.8 1.3 2.3 4.32 3.13 7.46
20 Shaquille O'Neal 2001 LAL PHI 5 5 45.0 33.0 57.5 15.8 4.8 4.0 0.4 3.4 7.94 -0.88 7.06
Rk Player Year Tm Opp G GS MPG PPG TS% RPG APG TO/G SPG BPG OSPM DSPM SPM
21 Robert Horry 2005 SAS DET 7 0 28.6 10.6 61.1 4.9 2.1 1.1 1.0 0.7 5.60 1.38 6.98
22 Charlie Ward 1999 NYK SAS 5 5 29.0 5.8 53.9 3.2 3.6 1.4 2.6 0.4 2.49 4.43 6.92
23 Ray Allen 2008 BOS LAL 6 6 41.0 20.3 70.8 5.0 2.5 1.8 1.3 0.7 5.99 0.56 6.55
24 Scottie Pippen 1996 CHI SEA 6 6 41.3 15.7 42.9 8.2 5.3 1.8 2.3 1.3 2.99 3.56 6.55
25 Robert Horry 2002 LAL NJN 4 4 39.8 8.0 60.1 7.3 4.3 1.5 2.8 1.8 0.06 6.20 6.26
26 James Posey 2008 BOS LAL 6 0 25.2 8.7 78.1 3.8 0.5 0.8 1.3 0.2 3.10 3.12 6.22
27 David Robinson 1999 SAS NYK 5 5 37.0 16.6 51.8 11.8 2.4 1.6 1.0 3.0 1.33 4.83 6.16
28 Robert Horry 2001 LAL PHI 5 0 25.4 8.4 76.0 5.0 1.2 0.4 0.8 1.4 4.42 1.52 5.93
29 Michael Jordan 1996 CHI SEA 6 6 42.0 27.3 53.8 5.3 4.2 3.0 1.7 0.2 5.81 -0.08 5.73
30 Charles Barkley 1993 PHO CHI 6 6 46.2 27.3 54.4 13.0 5.5 1.7 1.2 0.5 6.36 -0.74 5.62
31 Hakeem Olajuwon 1994 HOU NYK 7 7 43.1 26.9 55.6 9.1 3.6 3.6 1.6 3.9 2.29 3.32 5.61
32 Chauncey Billups 2005 DET SAS 7 7 40.1 20.4 57.0 5.0 6.3 1.3 1.0 0.1 7.11 -1.79 5.32
33 Robert Horry 1995 HOU ORL 4 4 46.8 17.8 57.0 10.0 3.8 1.3 3.0 2.3 0.41 4.78 5.20
34 Rasheed Wallace 2004 DET LAL 5 5 30.2 13.0 53.3 7.8 1.4 0.8 0.4 1.6 2.44 2.66 5.10
35 Karl Malone 1998 UTA CHI 6 6 40.5 25.0 55.3 10.5 3.8 3.8 1.0 1.2 5.52 -0.48 5.05
36 Daniel Gibson 2007 CLE SAS 4 2 34.8 10.8 51.9 1.8 2.5 0.0 1.5 0.0 3.34 1.71 5.05
37 Pau Gasol 2009 LAL ORL 5 5 42.5 18.6 64.7 9.2 2.2 1.0 0.8 1.8 2.26 2.70 4.97
38 Vlade Divac 1991 LAL CHI 5 5 41.6 18.2 60.9 8.8 2.0 3.0 1.8 2.4 2.50 2.47 4.96
39 Austin Croshere 2000 IND LAL 6 0 24.2 15.2 71.3 6.0 0.8 1.2 0.3 1.0 6.69 -1.86 4.83
40 Manu Ginobili 2003 SAS NJN 6 0 28.7 8.7 47.1 4.5 2.0 1.7 2.2 0.5 -0.74 5.47 4.73
Rk Player Year Tm Opp G GS MPG PPG TS% RPG APG TO/G SPG BPG OSPM DSPM SPM
41 Tony Parker 2007 SAS CLE 4 4 37.8 24.5 59.5 5.0 3.3 3.0 0.8 0.0 5.82 -1.18 4.65
42 John Stockton 1997 UTA CHI 6 6 37.5 15.0 61.3 4.0 8.8 3.8 2.0 0.5 2.62 1.90 4.52
43 Rasheed Wallace 2005 DET SAS 7 7 32.7 10.9 46.5 5.6 1.9 1.0 2.0 2.4 -0.82 5.25 4.43
44 Jason Kidd 2002 NJN LAL 4 4 42.0 20.8 48.9 7.3 9.8 3.0 2.3 0.8 6.26 -1.89 4.37
45 Pau Gasol 2010 LAL BOS 7 7 41.9 18.6 55.6 11.6 3.7 1.9 0.7 2.6 2.98 1.37 4.35
46 Scottie Pippen 1992 CHI POR 6 6 40.7 20.8 56.1 8.3 7.7 3.8 1.5 0.7 2.36 1.96 4.32
47 Ben Wallace 2004 DET LAL 5 5 40.6 10.8 44.3 13.6 1.4 1.2 1.8 1.0 -0.48 4.78 4.31
48 Magic Johnson 1991 LAL CHI 5 5 45.6 18.6 61.2 8.0 12.4 4.4 1.2 0.0 4.44 -0.14 4.30
49 Shawn Kemp 1996 SEA CHI 6 6 40.3 23.3 63.3 10.0 2.2 4.0 1.3 2.0 3.97 0.29 4.26
50 Scottie Pippen 1991 CHI LAL 5 5 43.6 20.8 52.7 9.4 6.6 4.0 2.4 1.0 0.70 3.37 4.06
51 John Stockton 1998 UTA CHI 6 6 32.3 9.7 53.9 2.5 8.7 3.0 2.0 0.0 1.16 2.74 3.90
52 LeBron James 2011 MIA DAL 4 4 44.0 17.3 55.5 7.3 6.3 3.5 2.3 0.3 1.11 2.72 3.83
53 Kevin Garnett 2010 BOS LAL 7 7 31.7 15.3 55.5 5.6 3.0 1.6 1.4 1.3 0.69 3.14 3.82
54 Kobe Bryant 2002 LAL NJN 4 4 43.8 26.8 62.3 5.8 5.3 3.8 1.5 0.8 4.39 -0.64 3.75
55 Allen Iverson 2001 PHI LAL 5 5 47.4 35.6 48.6 5.6 3.8 2.4 1.8 0.2 6.78 -3.15 3.64
56 Marcus Camby 1999 NYK SAS 5 3 27.0 9.6 52.7 7.8 0.2 0.4 0.6 2.0 0.61 3.00 3.62
57 Shaquille O'Neal 2004 LAL DET 5 5 42.6 26.6 61.5 10.8 1.6 2.8 0.4 0.6 5.66 -2.13 3.53
58 Scottie Pippen 1998 CHI UTA 6 6 39.5 15.7 50.2 6.8 4.8 2.7 1.7 0.8 1.43 1.98 3.41
59 Ben Wallace 2005 DET SAS 7 7 40.0 10.7 55.8 10.3 1.0 1.0 1.7 3.0 -1.00 4.39 3.39
60 Hakeem Olajuwon 1995 HOU ORL 4 4 44.8 32.8 51.4 11.5 5.5 2.8 2.0 2.0 2.70 0.69 3.39
Rk Player Year Tm Opp G GS MPG PPG TS% RPG APG TO/G SPG BPG OSPM DSPM SPM
61 Clyde Drexler 1992 POR CHI 6 6 39.7 24.8 52.2 7.8 5.3 3.0 1.3 1.0 3.75 -0.46 3.29
62 Rajon Rondo 2008 BOS LAL 6 6 27.0 9.3 43.2 3.8 6.7 1.5 1.5 0.5 1.55 1.65 3.20
63 Lamar Odom 2009 LAL ORL 5 0 33.8 13.4 60.9 7.8 0.8 1.8 1.0 1.0 -0.52 3.61 3.09
64 Rick Fox 2002 LAL NJN 4 4 36.0 9.8 69.0 6.3 3.5 2.8 1.5 0.5 1.28 1.79 3.07
65 Paul Pierce 2008 BOS LAL 6 6 38.8 21.8 58.8 4.5 6.3 3.7 1.2 0.3 2.97 -0.01 2.96
66 Dan Majerle 1993 PHO CHI 6 6 46.8 17.2 58.7 8.2 3.7 1.2 1.3 2.2 2.67 0.29 2.95
67 Dirk Nowitzki 2011 DAL MIA 4 4 40.9 26.5 55.8 10.3 2.0 3.3 0.3 1.0 2.73 0.22 2.95
68 Dennis Rodman 1996 CHI SEA 6 6 37.5 7.5 51.9 14.7 2.5 1.8 0.8 0.2 0.55 2.38 2.94
69 Anderson Varejao 2007 CLE SAS 4 0 24.5 7.5 68.1 5.3 0.8 0.5 1.3 0.5 0.77 2.13 2.90
70 Horace Grant 1991 CHI LAL 5 5 39.6 14.6 64.9 7.8 1.6 1.8 1.6 0.6 1.21 1.68 2.89
71 Mario Elie 1999 SAS NYK 5 5 35.0 11.6 60.3 4.0 2.6 1.6 1.2 0.0 1.05 1.84 2.89
72 Dwight Howard 2009 ORL LAL 5 5 42.6 15.4 56.2 15.2 2.2 4.0 1.6 4.0 -3.41 6.29 2.89
73 Kerry Kittles 2003 NJN SAS 6 6 31.3 10.8 48.1 4.2 1.3 0.5 1.8 0.5 0.29 2.57 2.86
74 Clyde Drexler 1995 HOU ORL 4 4 40.5 21.5 56.0 9.5 6.8 1.5 1.0 0.3 4.51 -1.67 2.84
75 Tyson Chandler 2011 DAL MIA 4 4 38.7 10.0 62.5 9.5 0.8 0.5 1.0 1.3 2.03 0.80 2.84
76 Karl Malone 1997 UTA CHI 6 6 40.8 23.8 48.5 10.3 3.5 2.3 1.7 0.3 2.33 0.49 2.82
77 Richard Dumas 1993 PHO CHI 6 6 26.7 15.8 58.7 4.3 1.0 1.0 1.3 1.0 4.33 -1.70 2.63
78 Toni Kukoc 1996 CHI SEA 6 2 29.5 13.0 51.7 4.8 3.5 1.8 0.8 0.3 4.41 -1.90 2.51
79 Dikembe Mutombo 2001 PHI LAL 5 5 41.6 16.8 63.2 12.2 0.4 1.0 0.4 2.2 2.32 0.16 2.48
80 Mark Jackson 2000 IND LAL 6 6 31.0 9.7 55.1 5.3 7.7 1.8 0.8 0.0 3.45 -0.99 2.46
Rk Player Year Tm Opp G GS MPG PPG TS% RPG APG TO/G SPG BPG OSPM DSPM SPM
81 Kevin Garnett 2008 BOS LAL 6 6 37.9 18.2 47.0 13.0 3.0 2.7 1.7 1.0 -0.26 2.69 2.43
82 Dirk Nowitzki 2006 DAL MIA 6 6 43.7 22.8 53.0 10.8 2.5 2.2 0.7 0.7 0.97 1.42 2.39
83 Jason Terry 2006 DAL MIA 6 6 40.0 22.0 55.2 2.2 3.5 2.5 1.8 0.0 2.53 -0.19 2.34
84 Derek Fisher 2009 LAL ORL 5 5 35.9 11.0 61.6 3.0 1.8 0.6 1.2 0.0 0.45 1.86 2.31
85 Anfernee Hardaway 1995 ORL HOU 4 4 43.0 25.5 63.7 4.8 8.0 3.8 1.0 0.8 4.80 -2.50 2.29
86 Horace Grant 1992 CHI POR 6 6 37.8 9.2 56.7 7.8 4.0 0.8 0.8 2.3 -2.47 4.75 2.27
87 Tayshaun Prince 2004 DET LAL 5 5 39.2 10.0 42.5 6.8 2.0 0.4 1.8 0.4 1.22 0.88 2.10
88 Kerry Kittles 2002 NJN LAL 4 4 26.5 12.5 53.9 2.0 2.5 0.8 1.5 0.5 4.66 -2.65 2.00
89 Jason Terry 2011 DAL MIA 4 0 32.8 15.0 51.1 1.3 2.8 0.8 1.5 0.0 3.16 -1.28 1.88
90 Gary Payton 1996 SEA CHI 6 6 45.7 18.0 53.2 6.3 7.0 2.5 1.5 0.0 1.97 -0.09 1.88
91 Scottie Pippen 1997 CHI UTA 6 6 42.8 20.0 54.1 8.3 3.5 3.5 1.7 1.8 -0.77 2.56 1.79
92 Rashard Lewis 2009 ORL LAL 5 5 42.5 17.4 54.6 7.6 4.0 2.0 0.8 0.0 2.79 -1.04 1.76
93 Jason Kidd 2003 NJN SAS 6 6 44.2 19.7 44.8 6.2 7.8 3.0 1.2 0.2 2.91 -1.20 1.71
94 Dale Davis 2000 IND LAL 6 6 29.5 8.7 58.0 10.0 1.0 0.0 0.3 1.0 1.76 -0.06 1.70
95 John Paxson 1991 CHI LAL 5 5 31.8 13.4 67.2 2.0 3.4 0.4 1.0 0.0 2.83 -1.14 1.70
96 Ron Artest 2010 LAL BOS 7 7 35.9 10.6 45.8 4.6 1.3 1.6 1.4 0.6 -1.76 3.39 1.63
97 Trevor Ariza 2009 LAL ORL 5 5 37.6 11.0 45.5 6.0 1.6 1.0 1.8 0.2 -1.33 2.93 1.60
98 Erick Dampier 2006 DAL MIA 6 0 24.6 5.7 67.9 8.2 0.3 1.3 1.0 0.7 -3.58 5.16 1.58
99 James Posey 2006 MIA DAL 6 0 29.5 7.3 59.9 6.0 0.3 1.2 1.0 0.0 -2.42 3.86 1.44
100 Dennis Rodman 1998 CHI UTA 6 0 30.5 3.3 54.7 8.3 1.0 1.0 1.2 0.3 -2.25 3.58 1.33
Rk Player Year Tm Opp G GS MPG PPG TS% RPG APG TO/G SPG BPG OSPM DSPM SPM
101 Shaquille O'Neal 1995 ORL HOU 4 4 45.0 28.0 60.6 12.5 6.3 5.3 0.3 2.5 1.62 -0.32 1.30
102 Robert Horry 1994 HOU NYK 7 7 37.9 10.3 43.2 5.7 3.7 1.4 1.3 0.4 -0.92 2.16 1.24
103 Drew Gooden 2007 CLE SAS 4 4 27.5 12.8 53.7 8.3 0.3 1.3 0.3 0.5 1.30 -0.25 1.05
104 Mario Elie 1995 HOU ORL 4 4 40.3 16.3 78.5 4.3 3.3 1.8 2.0 0.0 1.22 -0.23 0.98
105 John Paxson 1992 CHI POR 6 6 30.8 10.3 59.9 0.8 2.7 1.0 1.3 0.0 -0.44 1.32 0.88
106 Toni Kukoc 1998 CHI UTA 6 6 37.0 15.2 55.7 4.7 2.7 1.7 1.2 0.7 1.30 -0.45 0.84
107 Mario Chalmers 2011 MIA DAL 4 0 27.9 9.5 56.1 2.3 3.0 1.5 1.3 0.0 0.91 -0.08 0.83
108 Kobe Bryant 2008 LAL BOS 6 6 43.0 25.7 50.5 4.7 5.0 3.8 2.7 0.2 1.93 -1.15 0.78
109 Reggie Miller 2000 IND LAL 6 6 42.0 24.3 58.8 2.7 3.7 1.3 0.8 0.3 5.25 -4.50 0.75
110 Nick Anderson 1995 ORL HOU 4 4 40.3 12.3 45.0 8.5 4.3 1.0 2.0 0.5 -0.80 1.53 0.73
111 Derek Fisher 2010 LAL BOS 7 7 30.6 8.6 52.2 3.0 2.0 1.3 0.9 0.0 -1.46 2.16 0.71
112 Hedo Turkoglu 2009 ORL LAL 5 5 41.1 18.0 60.3 4.6 3.8 2.6 0.8 0.4 1.19 -0.52 0.67
113 John Starks 1994 NYK HOU 7 7 41.9 17.7 50.3 3.1 5.9 2.4 1.6 0.1 0.82 -0.25 0.57
114 Josh Howard 2006 DAL MIA 6 6 38.4 14.7 48.1 8.2 1.8 2.5 1.2 0.7 -2.51 3.03 0.52
115 Tim Duncan 2005 SAS DET 7 7 40.7 20.6 47.1 14.1 2.1 2.4 0.4 2.1 0.55 -0.09 0.45
116 Robert Horry 2000 LAL IND 6 0 30.3 9.2 57.5 5.2 2.8 1.5 0.8 1.0 0.01 0.44 0.44
117 Otis Thorpe 1994 HOU NYK 7 7 39.6 9.3 52.7 11.3 3.3 1.1 0.9 0.0 -1.46 1.89 0.43
118 Kobe Bryant 2001 LAL PHI 5 5 46.8 24.6 50.1 7.8 5.8 3.6 1.4 1.4 0.17 0.24 0.41
119 Horace Grant 1993 CHI PHO 6 6 38.8 11.2 54.6 10.3 2.3 0.8 1.5 1.5 -1.46 1.80 0.33
120 Ron Harper 1998 CHI UTA 6 6 28.7 5.3 41.8 4.5 2.8 1.2 1.5 0.7 -4.32 4.63 0.31
Rk Player Year Tm Opp G GS MPG PPG TS% RPG APG TO/G SPG BPG OSPM DSPM SPM
121 Rajon Rondo 2010 BOS LAL 7 7 38.8 13.6 45.1 6.3 7.6 2.7 1.6 0.3 -0.06 0.04 -0.03
122 Scottie Pippen 1993 CHI PHO 6 6 44.3 21.2 45.9 9.2 7.7 4.3 2.0 1.0 -0.81 0.78 -0.03
123 Charles Oakley 1994 NYK HOU 7 7 40.7 11.0 53.5 11.9 2.4 2.1 1.1 0.1 -1.91 1.85 -0.06
124 Derek Fisher 2001 LAL PHI 5 5 31.6 9.8 58.8 1.2 2.0 1.2 1.6 0.2 -1.12 0.95 -0.17
125 Lamar Odom 2010 LAL BOS 7 0 27.4 7.6 51.1 6.6 1.3 1.4 0.6 0.6 -3.43 3.00 -0.43
126 Latrell Sprewell 1999 NYK SAS 5 5 44.2 26.0 48.6 6.6 2.6 2.8 1.4 0.2 1.36 -1.81 -0.45
127 Paul Pierce 2010 BOS LAL 7 7 39.8 18.0 55.1 5.3 3.0 2.6 0.7 0.9 -1.16 0.61 -0.54
128 B.J. Armstrong 1993 CHI PHO 6 6 41.8 13.5 61.3 1.8 5.0 0.8 0.8 0.2 1.61 -2.23 -0.62
129 Clifford Robinson 1992 POR CHI 6 0 24.3 10.3 48.5 3.0 2.2 0.7 0.8 0.7 -1.21 0.50 -0.71
130 Derek Fisher 2002 LAL NJN 4 4 33.0 12.8 65.1 3.5 3.8 1.8 0.3 0.0 1.87 -2.75 -0.88
131 Rick Fox 2001 LAL PHI 5 5 32.8 9.8 61.7 4.6 3.8 2.8 1.2 0.4 -2.50 1.55 -0.95
132 Bryon Russell 1997 UTA CHI 6 6 38.7 11.3 54.4 5.8 0.7 1.0 0.8 0.2 -1.36 0.41 -0.95
133 Bryon Russell 1998 UTA CHI 6 6 36.0 8.8 51.9 5.0 1.3 1.5 1.2 0.2 -2.33 1.37 -0.96
134 Ron Harper 1997 CHI UTA 6 6 27.0 4.8 41.9 4.5 2.3 0.3 1.0 1.0 -2.84 1.87 -0.97
135 Ron Harper 2000 LAL IND 6 6 30.7 10.8 53.8 3.3 4.8 2.0 1.3 0.2 0.48 -1.49 -1.01
136 Richard Jefferson 2003 NJN SAS 6 6 38.2 13.2 47.8 6.5 1.8 2.3 1.3 0.3 -2.86 1.86 -1.01
137 Derek Fisher 2008 LAL BOS 6 6 31.2 10.8 57.1 1.5 3.2 1.5 1.5 0.0 0.14 -1.18 -1.03
138 Eric Snow 2001 PHI LAL 5 1 32.8 12.6 48.1 4.4 6.0 2.8 1.6 0.2 -0.25 -1.07 -1.32
139 Terry Porter 1992 POR CHI 6 6 43.8 16.2 57.1 4.3 4.7 2.7 1.0 0.3 -0.74 -0.61 -1.35
140 Jerome Kersey 1992 POR CHI 6 6 38.0 14.8 50.8 8.7 3.3 4.0 1.8 0.2 -2.19 0.77 -1.42
Rk Player Year Tm Opp G GS MPG PPG TS% RPG APG TO/G SPG BPG OSPM DSPM SPM
141 Shaquille O'Neal 2006 MIA DAL 6 6 35.2 13.7 53.2 10.2 2.8 3.2 0.5 0.8 -3.64 2.20 -1.44
142 Kobe Bryant 2000 LAL IND 5 5 35.2 15.6 41.1 4.6 4.2 1.2 1.0 1.4 0.35 -2.20 -1.85
143 Anthony Mason 1994 NYK HOU 7 0 29.3 8.6 51.7 6.9 1.3 1.1 0.7 0.0 -2.09 0.22 -1.86
144 Sean Elliott 1999 SAS NYK 5 5 36.2 8.0 42.7 3.0 3.0 1.2 0.8 0.2 -2.16 0.22 -1.94
145 Bruce Bowen 2005 SAS DET 7 7 38.9 7.9 52.2 2.7 2.0 1.6 0.6 0.7 -3.57 1.62 -1.95
146 Shawn Marion 2011 DAL MIA 4 4 36.3 15.5 56.5 6.5 2.5 2.5 0.5 1.0 -0.09 -1.90 -2.00
147 Jerry Stackhouse 2006 DAL MIA 5 0 30.0 12.8 46.9 3.4 3.0 2.2 0.8 0.6 -2.00 -0.01 -2.00
148 Jason Collins 2003 NJN SAS 6 6 25.2 3.7 43.3 4.7 1.0 0.8 0.7 0.5 -3.34 1.12 -2.22
149 Pau Gasol 2008 LAL BOS 6 6 39.0 14.7 57.2 10.2 3.3 2.2 0.5 0.5 -1.61 -0.61 -2.22
150 Richard Hamilton 2004 DET LAL 5 5 44.4 21.4 50.0 5.2 4.0 4.6 0.8 0.0 0.60 -2.94 -2.34
151 Luc Longley 1996 CHI SEA 6 6 28.3 11.7 61.8 3.8 2.2 2.5 0.5 1.8 -3.59 1.25 -2.34
152 Antoine Walker 2006 MIA DAL 6 6 36.6 13.8 45.6 5.5 2.2 2.0 0.7 0.5 -2.96 0.60 -2.36
153 Mickael Pietrus 2009 ORL LAL 5 0 28.0 10.6 57.4 2.0 0.4 0.6 0.6 0.2 -0.43 -1.98 -2.40
154 Avery Johnson 1999 SAS NYK 5 5 39.2 9.2 51.8 2.6 7.2 4.0 0.6 0.0 -2.10 -0.51 -2.61
155 Bruce Bowen 2007 SAS CLE 4 4 41.7 6.0 41.7 5.5 1.3 0.8 0.5 0.3 -3.96 1.29 -2.67
156 Dennis Rodman 1997 CHI UTA 6 6 27.2 2.3 29.8 7.7 1.5 1.0 0.7 0.2 -6.63 3.95 -2.68
157 Kenyon Martin 2003 NJN SAS 6 6 37.5 14.7 38.1 10.0 2.2 3.7 1.7 2.3 -7.58 4.88 -2.70
158 Jeff Hornacek 1998 UTA CHI 6 6 34.2 10.7 50.1 2.7 2.7 1.8 0.8 0.2 -2.34 -0.40 -2.74
159 Jeff Hornacek 1997 UTA CHI 6 6 34.3 12.0 51.8 3.5 2.2 1.5 0.7 0.0 -1.87 -0.88 -2.76
160 Detlef Schrempf 1996 SEA CHI 6 6 39.7 16.3 54.7 5.0 2.5 2.7 0.5 0.2 0.33 -3.11 -2.77
Rk Player Year Tm Opp G GS MPG PPG TS% RPG APG TO/G SPG BPG OSPM DSPM SPM
161 LeBron James 2007 CLE SAS 4 4 42.6 22.0 42.8 7.0 6.8 5.8 1.0 0.5 -2.63 -0.27 -2.90
162 Danny Ainge 1993 PHO CHI 6 0 27.0 8.8 60.3 3.0 2.5 1.2 0.3 0.0 -0.06 -2.85 -2.91
163 Charles Smith 1994 NYK HOU 7 7 26.7 9.3 48.2 4.3 1.7 1.1 0.6 1.0 -2.08 -0.92 -3.00
164 Horace Grant 1995 ORL HOU 4 4 42.0 13.5 54.9 12.0 1.5 1.5 0.5 0.5 -1.32 -1.72 -3.04
165 Jason Williams 2006 MIA DAL 6 6 31.3 8.8 48.3 1.8 4.7 1.3 0.5 0.0 -1.42 -1.62 -3.04
166 Kobe Bryant 2004 LAL DET 5 5 46.2 22.6 45.6 2.8 4.4 3.6 1.8 0.6 -0.49 -2.61 -3.10
167 Jalen Rose 2000 IND LAL 6 6 43.2 23.0 56.2 4.5 3.0 2.8 0.8 0.3 0.55 -3.66 -3.11
168 Hersey Hawkins 1996 SEA CHI 6 6 38.3 13.3 60.2 3.5 1.0 2.0 1.2 0.2 -2.27 -0.89 -3.15
169 Jason Kidd 2011 DAL MIA 4 4 37.1 6.0 44.6 5.3 6.0 4.0 1.0 0.8 -4.61 1.43 -3.18
170 Ray Allen 2010 BOS LAL 7 7 39.4 14.6 50.5 2.7 1.7 1.7 0.7 0.0 -2.61 -0.63 -3.23
171 Buck Williams 1992 POR CHI 6 6 35.2 7.8 60.2 7.3 1.0 2.5 0.8 0.5 -4.98 1.73 -3.24
172 Gary Payton 2004 LAL DET 5 5 33.6 4.2 36.4 3.0 4.4 1.4 1.2 0.4 -2.44 -0.90 -3.34
173 Udonis Haslem 2006 MIA DAL 6 6 29.2 6.5 48.3 6.2 0.3 2.3 1.2 0.0 -5.30 1.88 -3.42
174 Kevin Johnson 1993 PHO CHI 6 6 43.3 17.2 48.6 3.0 6.5 4.3 1.3 0.3 -1.68 -1.74 -3.42
175 Tayshaun Prince 2005 DET SAS 7 7 39.1 10.1 43.2 4.9 2.6 1.1 1.4 0.6 -3.52 0.08 -3.44
176 Tony Parker 2003 SAS NJN 6 6 35.3 14.0 45.1 3.2 4.2 1.8 0.3 0.2 -1.36 -2.10 -3.46
177 Patrick Ewing 1994 NYK HOU 7 7 44.0 18.9 39.0 12.4 1.7 3.1 1.3 4.3 -5.65 2.18 -3.47
178 Glen Rice 2000 LAL IND 6 6 32.2 11.5 54.1 2.5 1.7 1.5 0.8 0.2 -1.00 -2.49 -3.48
179 Richard Jefferson 2002 NJN LAL 4 0 24.3 6.8 52.2 4.5 1.3 0.8 1.0 0.0 -2.22 -1.32 -3.54
180 Zydrunas Ilgauskas 2007 CLE SAS 4 4 25.8 7.8 39.1 10.3 0.5 1.0 0.5 1.0 -4.16 0.57 -3.59
Rk Player Year Tm Opp G GS MPG PPG TS% RPG APG TO/G SPG BPG OSPM DSPM SPM
181 Lamar Odom 2008 LAL BOS 6 6 36.7 13.5 56.0 9.0 3.0 2.7 0.3 1.0 -2.26 -1.36 -3.62
182 James Worthy 1991 LAL CHI 4 4 41.0 19.3 50.0 3.0 2.0 1.8 1.0 0.0 -0.45 -3.37 -3.81
183 Allan Houston 1999 NYK SAS 5 5 44.4 21.6 50.3 3.2 3.4 2.6 0.4 0.0 0.26 -4.27 -4.01
184 Kenny Smith 1994 HOU NYK 7 7 25.4 5.6 50.5 1.4 3.1 2.0 0.7 0.0 -2.64 -1.42 -4.07
185 Kenny Smith 1995 HOU ORL 4 4 26.3 7.5 51.7 1.8 4.0 0.5 0.3 0.0 -0.46 -3.62 -4.08
186 Sam Perkins 1991 LAL CHI 5 5 41.2 16.6 50.8 7.6 1.0 1.6 0.4 1.4 -2.28 -1.88 -4.17
187 Stephen Jackson 2003 SAS NJN 6 6 35.5 10.3 46.8 4.2 2.7 4.3 1.2 0.3 -5.81 1.61 -4.21
188 Vernon Maxwell 1994 HOU NYK 7 7 37.7 13.4 44.5 3.3 2.9 3.0 0.6 0.0 -1.59 -2.69 -4.28
189 Keith Van Horn 2002 NJN LAL 4 4 30.3 10.5 45.9 5.8 2.3 1.3 0.5 0.3 -1.59 -2.74 -4.33
190 Kenyon Martin 2002 NJN LAL 4 4 39.5 22.0 50.9 6.5 2.5 3.5 1.5 1.0 -2.11 -2.30 -4.41
191 Bruce Bowen 2003 SAS NJN 6 6 28.5 3.3 32.4 3.2 0.8 0.7 0.7 0.3 -5.92 1.38 -4.53
192 Kevin Duckworth 1992 POR CHI 6 6 27.3 9.3 47.9 6.8 1.5 2.3 0.5 0.7 -6.02 1.31 -4.72
193 Andrew Bynum 2010 LAL BOS 7 7 24.9 7.4 51.2 5.1 0.0 0.9 0.1 1.3 -4.33 -0.84 -5.17
194 Larry Johnson 1999 NYK SAS 5 5 37.0 7.6 34.7 4.8 1.4 1.6 1.2 0.2 -5.96 0.72 -5.24
195 Bill Cartwright 1992 CHI POR 6 6 25.2 6.3 51.0 4.0 1.5 2.0 0.5 0.2 -6.82 1.53 -5.28
196 Aaron McKie 2001 PHI LAL 5 5 41.4 8.0 38.5 5.4 6.0 2.8 1.2 0.6 -4.44 -1.18 -5.61
197 Karl Malone 2004 LAL DET 4 4 30.5 5.0 37.5 7.3 2.3 1.0 0.3 0.3 -3.94 -1.68 -5.63
198 Dennis Scott 1995 ORL HOU 4 4 37.5 10.5 45.7 3.5 2.3 1.8 1.0 0.3 -4.33 -1.52 -5.84
199 Devin Harris 2006 DAL MIA 6 3 24.5 7.3 43.1 0.8 2.8 1.8 0.8 0.0 -5.82 -0.07 -5.89
200 Bill Cartwright 1991 CHI LAL 5 5 32.0 8.8 45.2 5.0 2.4 1.2 0.6 0.6 -6.27 0.18 -6.09
Rk Player Year Tm Opp G GS MPG PPG TS% RPG APG TO/G SPG BPG OSPM DSPM SPM
201 Sam Perkins 1996 SEA CHI 6 0 31.7 11.2 47.7 4.7 2.0 1.7 0.5 0.0 -2.30 -3.93 -6.23
202 Rafer Alston 2009 ORL LAL 5 5 29.5 10.6 43.2 2.2 3.0 1.6 0.8 0.0 -3.29 -3.13 -6.41
203 Tony Parker 2005 SAS DET 7 7 38.1 13.9 47.1 2.4 3.4 3.1 0.3 0.1 -4.93 -1.52 -6.45
204 Scott Williams 1993 CHI PHO 6 0 26.5 4.7 39.9 6.3 1.7 1.3 0.5 1.5 -7.19 0.52 -6.68
205 Udonis Haslem 2011 MIA DAL 4 0 27.4 4.8 40.5 4.3 0.5 1.3 0.8 0.5 -7.96 1.26 -6.70
206 Joel Anthony 2011 MIA DAL 4 4 24.0 1.5 27.3 4.5 0.5 0.3 0.3 1.8 -6.15 -0.83 -6.98
207 Sasha Pavlovic 2007 CLE SAS 4 4 31.7 9.8 41.8 2.5 0.8 1.3 0.5 0.0 -4.00 -3.06 -7.06
208 Richard Hamilton 2005 DET SAS 7 7 42.0 16.7 42.5 5.3 2.6 2.0 0.6 0.1 -4.89 -2.41 -7.30
209 Byron Scott 1991 LAL CHI 4 4 35.0 4.5 40.2 1.8 1.8 1.0 0.8 0.0 -6.80 -0.53 -7.33
210 Horace Grant 2001 LAL PHI 5 5 24.6 5.2 34.6 5.6 0.6 0.4 0.4 1.4 -5.99 -1.43 -7.41
211 Chris Bosh 2011 MIA DAL 4 4 39.6 18.3 43.6 6.5 1.3 2.0 0.3 0.5 -3.74 -4.03 -7.77
212 Tyrone Hill 2001 PHI LAL 5 5 28.2 6.6 44.6 6.6 0.4 1.0 0.0 1.2 -7.49 -0.29 -7.78

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26 Responses to “The Best NBA Finals Performances Since 1991 (*according to statistical +/-)”

  1. huevonkiller Says:

    Too bad you can't adjust for opponent, because every perimeter star can kill the 06 mavericks. You're not giving an accurate assessment.

    Bryant had a Gamescore of 49.7 in three quarters against them, James averaged a Gamescore of 34 against them.

    Not really scared by the 2011 Mavs backcourt. Great job though, but there have been far greater performances.

  2. Persefone Says:

    the Mavs backcourt is so damn weak.

    scrubs like Miller can go off with 50 against them (what he actually did)

  3. Ricardo Says:

    Anyone else surprised that busted-up old David Robinson in 2003 finished #10 on this list? Man, if David Robinson had developed a post game...well, he would have appeared on this list a whole lot more, for one thing.

  4. huevonkiller Says:

    Yeah that highlights one of the weaknesses of SPM, minutes. It is also confused about how to distribute credit for defense, which is throwing the rankings off as well.

  5. Jacob Says:

    Developing a good post game is more difficult than you think. It isn't simply a matter of skills or athleticism - it's about feeling comfortable with your back to the basket, which some players simply seem incapable of.

  6. Joe Schaller Says:

    I am not surprised to see Manu Ginobili ranking higher than Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan. He has always been far higher in my rankings than anything the MSM gives him credit for. I think Neil has a solid list.

  7. NBAGuru Says:

    All you have to see is Robinson in 03 above Duncan in the same year (Duncan that year put up the greatest individual playoff run in the 16-team era IMO) to know that something's wrong with the methodology here...

  8. Neil Paine Says:

    #7 - It's based on per-minute stats. Check out the raw per-36-minute numbers:

    Player Date MP Pts TS% Reb Ast Tov S+B OSPM DSPM SPM leverage
    Duncan 6/4/2003 44.0 26.2 69.1 16.4 4.9 0.8 8.2 12.23 10.74 22.98 0.85
    Duncan 6/6/2003 43.0 15.9 40.6 10.0 2.5 3.3 2.5 -5.66 1.40 -4.26 0.88
    Duncan 6/8/2003 45.0 16.8 57.4 12.8 5.6 4.0 3.2 0.75 5.73 6.48 1.02
    Duncan 6/11/2003 39.0 21.2 47.3 15.7 1.8 2.8 7.4 2.22 4.92 7.13 0.93
    Duncan 6/13/2003 46.0 22.7 64.7 13.3 3.1 4.7 3.9 3.84 3.87 7.71 1.27
    Duncan 6/15/2003 46.0 16.4 49.5 15.7 7.8 3.1 6.3 1.04 8.95 9.99 1.06
    Robinson 6/4/2003 27.0 18.7 75.1 8.0 1.3 0.0 5.3 5.10 0.93 6.04 0.85
    Robinson 6/6/2003 33.0 10.9 57.9 8.7 1.1 1.1 4.4 2.15 3.08 5.23 0.88
    Robinson 6/8/2003 26.0 11.1 46.9 4.2 0.0 0.0 1.4 -2.31 0.79 -1.52 1.02
    Robinson 6/11/2003 24.0 21.0 86.6 10.5 1.5 0.0 3.0 13.40 5.67 19.07 0.93
    Robinson 6/13/2003 20.0 10.8 61.5 5.4 0.0 1.8 9.0 0.08 14.70 14.78 1.27
    Robinson 6/15/2003 31.0 15.1 66.6 19.7 1.2 1.2 2.3 3.46 7.35 10.82 1.06

    Also, Duncan's best game came with the lowest series leverage. In the 2 highest-pressure games, Robinson had better all-around per-minute contributions (according to SPM), including double Duncan's in by far the most important game of all.

  9. Jason J Says:

    The 1996 Bulls are interesting. Pippen's higher than Jordan here because he picked up a lot of steals and blocks playing free safety while Michael had to contend with Payton at both ends (or chase around Hawkins), though Scottie had one of the worst shooting series you'll ever see anywhere. I'm kind of surprised Rodman didn't outrank both of them. That Seattle team really brought tough D to an exhausted 72 win Bulls team.

    That's the only playoff series I can remember Jordan playing in where I didn't think he was the best player on the court in the series. Kemp was the best (IMO) for those who don't recall.

  10. Matt, Colombia Says:

    I would have thought Jordan's 93 series against Phoenix would have been higher. All 6 of his are in the top 30, though. No one else can compare to that.

    His top 5 are all higher than Kobe's best as well.

  11. Jason J Says:

    Neil - I'm with Huevon. Can we see the results if the table was multiplied out by minutes played? Or barring that the results if we set a higher minimum minutes per game - say 35 or so? If many gives me 27 phenomenal minutes and Duncan gives me 40 not quite as phenomenal minutes, I think Timmy was the more impactful player. "Impactful" is my new favorite sports-word. Sorry "upside".

  12. Jason J Says:

    #11 should be "Manu" not "many" ...

  13. Matt Johnson Says:

    I don't know where people get the impression '06 Dallas was a terrible defense. Are they just thinking "Dirk + guys I don't remember = bad defense"?

    Among the 8 teams to play at least 2 series that year, Dallas had the 3rd best defensive efficiency. They actually stood out above the playoff average more on defense than on offense.

    While it's true that plenty of better defenses have existed, and it would be great to have an adjustment for defensive quality, those expecting that Wade's performance falls off a cliff when that's done are in for a rude awakening.

  14. Jason J Says:

    Not sure it's so much bad D by Dallas in '06 as specifically pro-Wade style of officiating - they really took the concept of no perimeter contact to an extreme.

  15. Ricardo Says:

    "Developing a good post game is more difficult than you think."

    I didn't imply that it was easy to do, I hope. My point is that David Robinson's shooting and scoring dipped in playoff games because the only reliable offense he had was a mid-range jumpshot, which is easy enough for playoff defenses to take away. If he had had a low-post arsenal to go along with that jumpshot and athleticism, there was no stopping him.

    Hakeem is more highly regarded than Robinson by the average fan today because in playoff games, he had an arsenal of go-to moves and could maintain his effectiveness as a scorer. Robinson, without that variety, could not and it showed up in the stats.

  16. NBAGuru Says:

    I agree with Jason J - I think the table would be better if the SPM were multiplied by the minutes.

    Leaving things on a per-minute (or per-100 possession) basis trivializes the rankings. Neil, you have to qualify everything you said in your #8 post by "PM". Yeah, Robinson may have played better per minute in games 4 and 5, but Robinson fouled out of both games, in under 25 mins in both games I might add, and the Spurs lost game 4. You cannot use a per minute stat to claim that Robinson had a better series in real life than Duncan in light of these facts.

    #9: The stats do jive with reality in the case of the 96 Bulls. Pipp was as important to the Bulls that year as MJ. I thought Rodman deserved finals MVP consideration as well - him getting Brickowski ejected every game always seemed to disrupt the Sonics, and he almost singlehandedly kept the rebounding close.

  17. NBAGuru Says:

    By the way, looking at the chart, the only entries who played as many/more minutes than Duncan in 03 with higher SPM were Jordan 91, Jordan 93 and Shaq 00. I can live with that.

  18. themojojedi Says:

    2nd worst Finals performance by weighted SPM in the last 20 years? It sure doesn't feel that Chris Bosh is playing THAT badly.

  19. themojojedi Says:

    The weighted SPM seems to agree quite closely with the official Finals MVP award. But which snubs do you think have legitimate grievance for Finals MVPs by this method? I'm only mentioning guys who played 36+ minutes and were on the winning team (Sorry to a surprisingly impressive 1994 Derek Harper).

    1995. Horry 5.2 over Hakeem 3.39 - One of many nice performances by Horry, + an iron-man at 46.8mpg. Steals valued (too?) highly and doesn't account for how much he benefited from playing with Hakeem. No case here.

    1996. Pippen 6.55 over Jordan 5.73 - Not much of a margin in that one. Probably could have gone either way, which in reality means Jordan's way.

    2005. Manu 8.41 over Duncan 0.45 - Surprisingly huge margin on this one. Could make a strong case for Manu.

    2007. Duncan 7.46 over Parker 4.65 - Many agreed at the time that Duncan should have been the Finals MVP. Duncan hard done by. (Also Manu had a higher score than both but played less than 30mpg)

    2008. Ray Allen 6.55 over Pierce 2.96 - Ray Allen's mum just angrily ripped off her Ray-Ray jersey like the Incredible Hulk.

  20. NBAGuru Says:

    Yeah, I noticed Hakeem's absurdly low 1995 per-minute ranking as well. Anyone care to delve into the numbers there?

  21. cort Says:

    #19
    I posted in another recent blog that Manu clearly deserved the 2005 Finals MVP. This analysis definitely supports that idea, especially with a huge discrepancy between Manu's #11 performance of the past 20 years, and Duncan's 115th ranked performance in that series. Duncan got that MVP due to bias against foreigners and because people like Timmy. Plus, people didnt understand Manu's contributions above and beyond stats and werent ready to believe he was a greta player. He has great intangibles.

  22. Raj Says:

    @20

    my guess would be that in a sweep, esp. of a really good team which '95 orlando was, you almost have to have a bunch of guys have great numbers. and given the smallest possible sample size of four games, I think it's fairly likely that a non-superstar really shines. in fact, i wouldnt be surprised in the least if during the Dallas-Lakers series this year Terry (esp. helped by his 8/9 from 3 game 4) had a higher SPM than Dirk. Kidd too and maybe even Peja.

  23. Bill Says:

    @19.

    1996. Pippen 6.55 over Jordan 5.73 - Not much of a margin in that one. Probably could have gone either way, which in reality means Jordan's way.
    ------

    Check out Jordan's stats. He was murdering Chicago in games 4-6 of that series. Pippen won that series for the Bulls, and was robbed.

    In 2005, Manu should have won (even though Duncan's a foreigner, too). The Pistons could stop Duncan, but they couldn't stop the refs who loved Manu.

  24. Dennis Says:

    Bill,

    Yes Jordan didn't play up to his standards in games 4-6, but neither did Pippen.

    Gm 4: 4-17 for 9 pts
    Gm 5: 5-20 for 14 pts
    Gm 6: 7-17 for 17 pts

    40 pts on 54 shots over the last 3 gms is terrible and isn't going to earn MVP for anyone.

  25. Jason J Says:

    Scottie shot 34% for that series. At least MJ stayed aggressive and got to the free throw line. In fact his finals composite box score is more efficient than Rose was this playoffs. Scottie just gave up on offense and started bombing threes. Credit to a great Seattle team D, but honestly the whole team had their legs by this series. When Ron Harper got hurt and they lost the 5th best player in their 7 man rotation, they were really hurting. I've heard more than a few people say Rodman should have been Finals MVP though he got lit up by Kemp.

  26. Lucas Says:

    could you update it, now that the series is over please??