Commentary

Greatest Finals performances: No. 10

Updated: June 15, 2011, 11:02 PM ET
By John Hollinger | ESPN.com

Michael JordanAP Photo/John SwartThe Shrug … 35 points in a half … 46 points in Game 5 … a big steal in Game 6. Just MJ being MJ.

Editor's note: We're ranking the best Finals performances since the NBA-ABA merger.


Rankings: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50

10. Michael Jordan, Chicago, 1992

We remember it now simply as The Shrug.

In the first half of Game 1, a scorching-hot Michael Jordan hit his sixth 3-pointer and then looked over to the broadcast table and gave a disbelieving, palms-up shrug. As good as he was, not even Jordan could believe how hot he'd become -- he had a Finals-record 35 points in the first half.

The rest of his series wasn't quite as good. In fact, a silly fourth-quarter tech on Jordan helped Portland rally from 10 down to steal Game 2 in overtime.

But in the end, Jordan still produced a Finals to remember. He pumped in 35.8 points per game, handed out 6.5 assists, shot 52.5 percent from the floor and posted an insane 61.7 True Shooting Percentage. Forget that it was Jordan for a second, and his PER of 29.2 for the series looks pretty amazing, too, given that the Blazers were an elite defensive team that year.

Jordan also came up biggest when needed most. He scored 46 points in Game 5 as Chicago's 119-106 win snapped a 2-2 series tie, and he picked Buck Williams clean under the basket to get a key dunk as the Bulls rallied from 14 down in the fourth to win Game 6 and claim the title.


Rankings: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50

John Hollinger writes for ESPN Insider. To e-mail him, click here.

Justin Kubatko of Basketball-Reference.com contributed research to this list.