There have been few players in that have performed in the NBA playoffs like Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan and while we tend to remember his play in the Finals, he’s had plenty of notable first round playoff performances.
So, let’s take a look at some MJ’s best first round playoff performances during his legendary career:
1) Michael Jordan scores 63 against Celtics in 1986
During Michael’s early start of his career, there were plenty of memorable games but probably the most memorable single game performance came in 1986 during game two of the Chicago Bulls first round series with the Boston Celtics.
The Celtics boasted one of the legendary line-ups in NBA history with Larry Bird, Robert Parrish, and Kevin McHale just to name a few and held the Eastern Conference’s top seed.
At the time, legendary performances at the Boston Garden were reserved for Bird but in this double overtime classic, Jordan scored an NBA playoff-high 63 points and left many feeling that he would become a force in the Eastern Conference in the near future:
2) Michael Jordan gets 44 points and drains “The Shot” against Cleveland
If you happen to be a Cleveland Cavaliers fan from the 1980’s, you might not want to watch the below video as Michael’s most memorable buzzer beater is forthcoming.
With the series tied at 2, the Cavaliers had a chance to end the series on their home floor but Michael had other plans with an impressive 40-point performance.
After Craig Ehlo had put the Cavaliers up 100-99 with less than four seconds to play, it appeared that Cleveland was going to survive Michael’s super-human performance.
However, Jordan got the chance to win it with the ball in his hand and well, I think we all know what happens next:
3) Michael Jordan drops 48 at the Bradley Center in 1990
As Michael and the Chicago Bulls tried to climb the Eastern Conference ladder, the Bulls faced off against the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round in the start of the 1990’s.
After winning the first two games in Chicago, the scene shifted to Milwaukee and despite a Bucks win, Michael had a vintage performance by scoring 48 points in a series that the Bulls won in four games:
4) Michael Jordan gets double-nickel against the Bullets in 1997
Despite both franchises being around for long period of time, the first time that the Washington Bullets and Chicago Bulls met in the playoffs.
After beating the Seattle Supersonics in the previous season for the championship, the Bulls looked to start another title run.
They faced off in the first round against a young Washington Bullets team which featured Rod Strickland and Chris Webber as their main pieces.
The Bulls won eventually sweep the Bullets in three games and Jordan’s 55 point performance at the United Center is still an amazing game:
Jordan image courtesy of Getty Images