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Kareem Abdul Jabbar's 1977 playoff run is the greatest in NBA history

#1NYGFan2008Posted 2/7/2013 2:49:06 PM
Some newspaper quotes.

Neither migraine headaches nor Clifford Ray have hindered the Lakers' 7-foot-2 center, who scored 40 points, grabbed 19 rebounds and blocked nine shots Friday night to lift Los Angeles to a 95-86 victory and a 2-0 lead in the series.

"Kareem has been absolutely magnificent in the first two games," Lakers coach Jerry West said. "I can't recall anyone being so dominant in all phases of the game in a long, long time. In both games, we struggled in several situations, but he went back in and really picked us up. I'll tell you, it's a good feeling to have a force like that.

Abdul-Jabbar has 67 points, 35 rebounds and 12 blocked shots in the first two games.

"He is playing the greatest basketball of his life," Golden State's Jamaal Wilkes said. "There's nothing we can do."

Abdul-Jabbar has been suffering from migraine headaches the past few weeks, including ones prior to both games against Golden State.


Because the top of his head is less than 3 feet below the rim of the basket, many people shrug at Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's skill. But those people don't understand basketball.

"He has a tremendous burden," Jerry West, his coach on the Los Angeles Lakers, said. "He's expected to do more than anybody in the league; score, rebound and block shots."

And as he approaches his 30th birthday, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has turned that burden into a testimonial. He remains the National Basketball Association's most dominant player, second to Pete Maravich in scoring with an average of 27.2 points and second to Bill Walton in rebounds, with a 14.5 average and blocked shots, with a 3.04 average. But those numbers are not why Kareem Abdul-Jabbar believes that he is playing better than he ever has in his eight seasons.

"I have more understanding of the game," he said. "The little things you have to do well. When to switch, when not to. When to help out, when not to. When to pass, when to hold the ball."


Here are his numbers for each playoff game.

WCSF vs Warriors
Game 1- 27 points, 16 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocks, 7/12 FT
Game 2- 40 points, 19 rebounds, 3 assists, 9 blocks, 4/6 FT
Game 3- 28 points, 14 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 blocks, 12/20 FG, 4/7 FT
Game 4- 41 points, 18 rebounds, 3 assists, 0 blocks, 11/16 FT
Game 5- 45 points, 18 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks, 16/28 FG, 13/18 FT
Game 6- 43 points, 20 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 blocks, 17/25 FG, 9/11 FT
Game 7- 36 points, 26 rebounds, 0 blocks, 14/26 FG, 8/10 FT

WCF vs Blazers
Game 1- 30 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 0 blocks, 11/19 FG, 8/9 FT
Game 2- 40 points, 17 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 blocks, 17/23 FG, 6/9 FT
Game 3- 21 points, 20 rebounds, 7 assists, 8 blocks, 5/12 FG, 11/13 FT (Foul trouble)
Game 4- 30 points, 17 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 blocks, 12/20 FG, 6/9 FT



Keep in mind, the Lakers 2nd leading rebounder was injured as was Lucious Allen.

John Wooden once said that Walton was the better player and then Kareem heard that. Kareem then proceeded to just completely own Walton and drop an easy 40 points. Further proving a point to Wooden with each basket that he was the better player.


Keep in mind, Wooden coached them both.

One more thing to keep in mind.

Regular Season Kareem - 26.2 ppg, 13.3 rpg, 3.9 apg, 3.2 bpg, 1.2 spg, 57.9 FG%, 60.8 TS% 36.8 mpg

Playoff Kareem - 34.6 ppg, 17.7 rpg, 4.1 apg, 3.5 bpg, 1.7 spg, 60.7 FG%, 64.6 TS%, 42.5 mpg
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#2NYGFan2008(Topic Creator)Posted 2/7/2013 2:50:18 PM
Remarkable consistency with the big games during the playoffs. Not only did he have four 40 point games in one series, but a season high 26 rebounds in game 7 of the Warriors series and a very rare 40/20 playoff game the game before. Not only did he have his season high in rebounds during the playoffs, but his 45 points in game 5 of the Warriors series were also a season high.

It's tough to have the same perspective on a season that I wasn't around to witness with such little footage, but it seems like Kareem's regular season consisted of more consistently good nights than big 40+ games, though as always, you'd get something like a 20 point 4th quarter from him for example as he did in a March 11th 94-91 win over Washington. As Jerry West said after that game "He made all the key offensive and defensive plays down the stretch." "If he's not the greatest player in the game, I haven't seen the other guy." Or a January 9th win over Detroit when they came back from a 12 point deficit in the 4th behind Kareem's 15 point 4th quarter in a Nationally-televised game.

The next game on January 11th, 1977, he hit the game-winner with 4 seconds remaining for his 40th point of a 101-99 victory.

These type of 4th quarter heroics are how the Lakers had the best record in the league despite outscoring opponents by only 2.7 points per game. 4 teams outscored teams by larger margins, but none came within more than 3 victories of the Lakers 53-29 record. 3 of those 4 teams had significantly larger margins of victories such as Portland(5.6 ppg), Denver(5.2) and Philadelphia(3.9)

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I <3 Joel "Alien" Anthony's head.
#3EdwinBuddingPosted 2/7/2013 2:51:43 PM
I don't know man. 2000 Shaq, 2009/2012 LeBron, 1991 Jordan, and 1967 Wilt are beasts

And 1965 Bill Russell IIRC
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Ain't no one beating that.
#4NYGFan2008(Topic Creator)Posted 2/7/2013 2:53:01 PM
A lot of people are going to shrug it off because it came in a losing effort.
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I <3 Joel "Alien" Anthony's head.
#5NYGFan2008(Topic Creator)Posted 2/7/2013 2:55:22 PM
Also, IMO, I think Jordan's 1990 run was better than 1991 regardless if he won the title in 1991.
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I <3 Joel "Alien" Anthony's head.
#6Tony_Biggie_PunPosted 2/7/2013 2:57:55 PM
Speaking of Walton, I find it.hilarious how people try to say.his prime was ass good ass Kareems. No disrespect to Walton, but its not even close
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#7Achronos117Posted 2/7/2013 3:04:54 PM(edited)
Walton was the White Russell. IIRC, in his championship clinching game Walton had something like 20 points, 23 boards, 8 blocks and 7 assists. ****ing mountain man. And he beat Kareem on his way to the title the year he won it (77 right?). I remember catching one of the early WCF games that year on NBA TV during the lockout, Kareem had like 16 points before the 1st quarter ended, nearly all coming via ridiculous skyhooks, some as far out as 16, 17, 18 feet. When the quarter came to a close his team was still down. Kareem had virtually no help that year. Its eye popping when you see how much his stats jumped from the regular season to the post season.
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#8Showtime_LakersPosted 2/7/2013 3:04:53 PM
Man if only Kareem had an actual team that year
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#9Achronos117Posted 2/7/2013 3:06:25 PM
Game 3- 21 points, 20 rebounds, 7 assists, 8 blocks, 5/12 FG, 11/13 FT (Foul trouble)

And he still had a near quadruple double. Holy ****.
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Quick, to the Hinden-Peter!
#10NYGFan2008(Topic Creator)Posted 2/7/2013 3:59:44 PM
bump needs more respect
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I <3 Joel "Alien" Anthony's head.