-- The ability to come through in pressure packed situations is said to be what distinguishes a good player from a great one.
A gamer. A clutch performer. A hero. A legend. Whatever you call them, these players answer the call of duty when everything is on the line. And there is no place where more is on the line than in the NBA Playoffs.
After featuring Reggie, Bird and Magic in this series, we now come to the man who has so many great performances in the postseason, that we're going to need to spilt the vote for his greatest playoff performance into two seperate features.
That's right. Michael Jordan gets two of these. This one for his playoff performances before his first retirement in 1993, the next one for his playoff performances between 1994 and his second retirement after the 1998 season. Take a look at MJ's first five great playoffs performances and then vote for the best.
Game 2 of 1986 First Round vs. Celtics
MJ goes for an NBA Playoffs record 63-points in double-OT loss at the Boston Garden. The most memorable clip from that game may be Jordan crossing-over Celtics legend Larry Bird in the right corner before pulling up for a jumper. Bird, for one, was impressed
"I think it's just God disguised as Michael Jordan."
Need we say more?
Game 5 of the 1989 First Round vs. Cavaliers
Even stand-up comics didn't kill Cleveland like Jordan did. And it started here with this shot as the Bulls rolled into Cleveland. Down one point and with just over a tick left on the clock, Jordan squeaked free, rose over his foil, Craig Ehlo, shot and crushed Cavs fans everywhere as the Bulls escaped Cleveland
and the first round with a 101-100 win.
Game 2 of the 1991 Finals vs. Lakers
The Bulls lost Game 1 of The 1991 Finals, at home no less, to the Lakers. But in Game 2, Jordan and the Bulls took over.
Jordan, known for his many amazing and seemingly super-human athletic feats pulled out all the stops on this move, where he drove through the lane with the ball in his right hand, switched in mid-air to his left and laid it home.
The move was perfectly punctuated by Marv Albert's play-by-play: "A spec-TAC-ular move by Jordan!"
Game 1 of 1992 Finals vs. Blazers
With one title under his belt, Jordan was back with the Bulls for a shot at title No. 2. Jordan, known more for his slashing style, stunned the Blazers, the basketball world and even himself with a barrage of three-pointers in the first half, a Finals record six.
Jordan was so surprised by his long-range accumen, he turned to the NBA broadcasters at courtside and shrugged his shoulders as if to say: "Who knew?" After that, we all did.
Game 4 of 1993 Finals vs. Suns
Jordan and the Bulls were going for their third title in a row, and after winning the first two games in Phoenix, it looked as if the Bulls would breeze their way to a series sweep.
But Phoenix had other ideas as they won a classic three-OT thriller in Game 3 at Chicago Stadium. Again, it was up to Jordan to put his stamp on the series as he hung 55 on the Suns in Game 4.
The Bulls would need all those points from Jordan, too, as they squeaked out a 111-105 win. Chicago would go on to win the series in six games.