2022 NBA Playoffs

Milestones to watch in 2022 NBA Playoffs

See which players can climb the postseason leaderboard this spring.

Donovan Mitchell (left) and Kevin Durant could set new milestones this postseason.

As the 2022 NBA Playoffs get set to tipoff on Saturday, here are some of the statistical milestones that are within reach this postseason.


Looking at the all-time leaderboard, there are three players to watch that are either already in the top 25 and looking to climb or about to enter the top 25 on the all-time playoff scoring list.

First up is Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant, who needs just four points to pass Jerry West (4,457) for eighth place all-time. The playoff scoring numbers between the two NBA 75 members are very similar as Durant should pass West in one fewer playoff game played.

While it’s pretty much a given that Durant will reach eighth, the real question is how high can Durant climb if Brooklyn can make an extended playoff run. Karl Malone (4,761) currently leads Durant by 307 points; if Durant scores at his playoff career average of 29.5 points per game, he would need 11 games to pass the Mailman. The Nets would need to make a Finals run for Durant to challenge Tim Duncan (5,172) for sixth place, as he would need 25 games at his playoff average to make up that 718-point lead.

6 Tim Duncan 251 5172
7 Karl Malone 193 4761
8 Jerry West 153 4457
9 Kevin Durant 151 4454

Two other players to watch as the playoffs tip off are Philadelphia’s James Harden and Golden State’s Stephen Curry, who currently rank 20th and 28th, respectively, on the all-time playoff scoring list.

Harden enters the postseason 416 points behind Wilt Chamberlain for 19th place, so it will take a deep playoff run for the Sixers in order for Harden to have a realistic chance to climb the board. In his career, Harden has scored over 400 points in a single postseason twice – 462 points in 2015 and 486 in 2018. In both instances, he was the primary scorer for Houston and the Rockets played 17 games each year. Now, Harden is the Sixers’ secondary scorer (21.0 ppg in 21 games) to league-leader Joel Embiid (30.6 ppg), so to score the 417 points needed to pass Wilt, Harden would need to play 20 games.

15 Magic Johnson 190 3701
16 Dirk Nowitzki 145 3663
17 Scottie Pippen 208 3642
18 Elgin Baylor 134 3623
19 Wilt Chamberlain 160 3607
20 James Harden 137 3191
21 Kevin McHale 169 3182
22 Paul Pierce 170 3180
23 Dennis Johnson 180 3116
24 Julius Erving 141 3088
25 Manu Ginobili 218 3054
26 James Worthy 143 3022
27 Reggie Miller 144 2972
28 Stephen Curry 112 2968

Curry says he is “optimistic” that he will play in Golden State’s playoff opener on Saturday in what will be his first action since suffering a sprained ligament in his left foot on March 16. Assuming he will return healthy, Curry should pass Reggie Miller for 27th place on the playoff scoring list as he needs just five points to do so.

If Curry is healthy and can help Golden State win a round, he has a great chance to climb all the way up to 21st on the list during this playoff run. He needs 215 points to pass Kevin McHale (3,182) – and five more Hall of Famers along the way – and based on his 26.5 career playoff scoring average, he would need just nine games to do it.

Field Goals Made

Kevin Durant FG record

In addition to passing Jerry West in total playoff points scored, Kevin Durant has a strong chance of passing West in playoff field goals made. Durant enters the postseason ranked 10th all-time with 1,508 playoff buckets.

Directly ahead of him are Tony Parker (1.613) and West (1,622); Durant would need 115 field goals made to pass both legendary guards. Durant has made at least 125 field goals in six consecutive postseasons that he has played. Based on his playoff career average of 10 field goals made per game, Durant would need just 12 games to reach eighth place.

7 Karl Malone 193 1743
8 Jerry West 153 1622
9 Tony Parker 226 1613
10 Kevin Durant 151 1508

Challenging Karl Malone (1,743) for seventh place would require a Finals run and a few long series along the way for the Nets. Durant has just one postseason in which he’s made more than 200 field goals – 212 over 21 games with the 2018 Warriors – so reaching the 236 to pass Malone is unlikely.

3-Point Field Goals Made

No all-time playoff leaderboard features more active players than the 3-point field goals made list. Five out of the top six players are active – with Ray Allen (third place) being the only exception. And Allen’s time in the top three is about to come to an end.

Milestones to Watch 2022 NBA Playoffs: Klay Thompson

Golden State’s Klay Thompson needs just 12 3-pointers to pass Allen (385) to take over third place behind LeBron James (432) and Stephen Curry (470 and counting). Thompson has averaged 3.0 3-pointers made for his playoff career – and averaged 3.6 during the regular season as he returned from a two-plus year absence – so he will likely pass Allen in the first round.

1 Stephen Curry 112 470
2 LeBron James 266 432
3 Ray Allen 171 385
4 Klay Thompson 123 374
5 James Harden 137 341
6 Kevin Durant 151 337

Of course, Thompson is not alone as both James Harden (341) and Kevin Durant (337) round out the top six on the all-time list. Both Harden and Durant would need long playoff runs in order to make a move up the leaderboard. Harden has a playoff average of 2.5 3-pointers made per game (2.2 this season with Philly) so he would need 18 games to pass Allen. Durant has a playoff average of 2.2 3-pointers made per game (2.1 this regular season), so he would need 23 games to pass Allen.

Free Throws Made

Don’t just watch Kevin Durant and James Harden beyond the 3-point line, they also do plenty of damage at the free-throw line as well. Durant enters the postseason ranked eighth on the all-time playoff list and needs just 68 free throws to pass Shaquille O’Neal (1,168) for seventh place. Challenging Jerry West (1,213) and Tim Duncan (1,217) would require Durant to hit more than 100 free throws, which he has done six times in his career, with the last occurrence in 2018 (137 in 21 games). Based on his 7.3 average, Durant would need 10 games to pass Shaq, 16 to pass West and 17 to pass Duncan.

5 Tim Duncan 251 1217
6 Jerry West 153 1213
7 Shaquille O’Neal 216 1168
8 Kevin Durant 151 1101
9 Dirk Nowitzki 145 1074
10 Magic Johnson 190 1068
11 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 237 1050
12 Dwyane Wade 177 951
13 James Harden 137 944

Harden enters the postseason in 13th place on the all-time list and needs just eight free throws to pass Dwyane Wade (951), which he should do in the first round. The few moves up the ladder will be a bit more daunting as he needs 107 to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,050), 125 to pass Magic Johnson (1,068) and 131 to pass Dirk Nowitzki (1,074). Harden has made more than 100 free throws in a single postseason four times in his career, the last time coming in 2018 (118 in 17 games played). Based on his career playoff average (6.9 per game), Harden would need two games to pass Wade, 16 games to pass Kareem, and 19 to pass both Magic and Dirk.


Rajon Rondo with the assist

Depending on the outcome of Friday’s Eastern Conference Play-In Tournament game between Cleveland and Atlanta, we’ll either have one or two players to watch on the all-time assist leaderboard this postseason.

If Cleveland wins, Rajon Rondo will return to the playoffs and need just eight assists to pass Tony Parker (1,143) for fifth place on the all-time leaderboard. Rondo has played 21 games with Cleveland since joining the Cavs midseason and has averaged 4.9 assists per game; he had nine in Cleveland’s Play-In loss to Brooklyn on Tuesday. After Parker, the only other player that Rondo could possibly challenge this postseason would be Jason Kidd (1,263). Rondo would need 128 assists to pass Kidd – a mark he has not reached since the 2012 playoffs with Boston (227).

Entering the playoffs behind Rondo in seventh place is Chris Paul – who led the NBA in assists this season with 10.8 per game for the top-seeded Phoenix Suns. Let’s take Rondo out of the mix for now – since he would be adding to his total should the Cavs make the playoffs – and focus on Paul passing Parker and possibly Kidd.

Paul needs 78 assists to pass Parker – which would require eight games using Paul’s current season average (10.8 apg), or nine games based on his career playoff average (9.5. apg). Passing Kidd is a much more daunting task as Paul would need 198 assists to do so. That means Paul would have to top his career-best 171 assists (over 20 games) in Phoenix’s run to the NBA Finals last season.


The player to watch on the all-time blocks leaderboard is Milwaukee’s Serge Ibaka, who enters the postseason in eighth place (292) and trails Patrick Ewing (303) by 11 blocks, Robert Parish (309) by 17 blocks and David Robinson by 20 blocks as he looks to climb into the top five.

The key to watch will be Ibaka’s minutes now that Brook Lopez has returned from injury and the team’s rotations not being as deep in the playoffs. Since Lopez returned on March 14, Ibaka appeared in eight of Milwaukee’s final 14 games and recorded just one blocked shot in 124 minutes.


When it comes to playoff triple-doubles, the top two spots are essentially locked by Magic Johnson (30) and LeBron James (28), but after the top two, there is a cluster of players that could challenge Russell Westbrook (12) for third place.

Entering the postseason, Golden State’s Draymond Green and Cleveland’s Rajon Rondo are tied with Larry Bird for fifth place on the all-time list with 10 career playoff triple-doubles. Six of Green’s triple-doubles came during the Warriors’ last playoff appearance in 2019 when they advanced to their fifth straight NBA Finals. Green had just one triple-double during the regular season, while Rondo had none this season and none in the postseason since 2012 with Boston.

1 Magic Johnson 30
2 LeBron James 28
3 Russell Westbrook 12
4 Jason Kidd 11
T-5 Larry Bird 10
T-5 Draymond Green 10
T-5 Rajon Rondo 10
8 Wilt Chamberlain 9
9 Oscar Robertson 8
10 Nikola Jokic 6
11 John Havlicek 5
T-12 Elgin Baylor 4
T-12 Charles Barkley 4
T-12 Tim Duncan 4
T-12 James Harden 4
T-12 Walt Frazier 4

Two more players to watch that begin the postseason a little further down the board are Nikola Jokic (10th place with six triple-doubles) and James Harden (tied for 12th place with four triple-doubles). Jokic led the NBA with 19 triple-doubles this season and was the only player to rank in the top 10 in all three categories of points, rebounds and assists. Jokic already ranks seventh all-time in regular season triple-doubles (76) and needs three to pass Oscar Robertson for ninth place and four to pass Wilt Chamberlain for eighth place on the postseason leaderboard.

Harden finished with 11 triple-doubles this season (third-most in the league), but only two of those came in his 21 games with Philadelphia; the other seven came in his 44 games in Brooklyn. Harden needs just one triple-double to break a five-way tie for 12th place and join John Havlicek with five; Harden has never had more than one triple-double in a single postseason.

Franchise Records

On March 31, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 44 points to lead the Bucks to an overtime win over Brooklyn that not only clinched a return to the playoffs for the defending champs, but lifted Giannis over Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (14,211) as Milwaukee’s career scoring leader.

While that record was for regular season games only, Giannis enters the postseason needing just 38 points to pass Kareem (1,692) as the Bucks’ all-time playoff scoring leader as well. Giannis can also become Milwaukee’s all-time leader in playoff blocks, needing just four to pass Alton Lister (91).

Giannis isn’t the only MVP candidate that has a chance to make team history this postseason. Denver’s Nikola Jokic needs just four assists to pass Alex English (280) for the most playoff dimes in Nuggets history. He also needs just seven 3-pointers to pass current teammate Jamal Murray (90) in playoff triples.

Donovan Mitchell will also likely take over as the all-time playoff 3-point leader for Utah as he needs eight triples to pass Bryon Russell.

Coaching Wins

There are three coaches to watch on the all-time playoff wins list heading into the postseason.

Philadelphia’s Doc Rivers needs two wins to pass the legendary Red Auerbach for the fifth-most playoff coaching wins in NBA history, and just three to pass Larry Brown for sole possession of fourth place.

Miami’s Erik Spoelstra enters the 2022 postseason with 85 playoff wins and would need the Heat to make another Finals run to gain any ground on the coaches directly ahead of him. Spoelstra would need 14 wins to pass Jerry Sloan, 15 wins to pass Auerbach and Miami would have to win its third title under Spoelstra for him to pass Brown.

Golden State’s Steve Kerr only needs to make it past the first round to enter the top 10 on the all-time wins list. Kerr enters the postseason in 13th place with 77 wins, but a series win would see him pass Rick Adelman (79), Lenny Wilkens (80) and George Karl (80) and move into a tie for ninth place with K.C. Jones.

1 Phil Jackson 229
2 Pat Riley 171
3 Gregg Popovich 170
4 Larry Brown 100
5 Red Auerbach 99
T-6 Doc Rivers 98
T-6 Jerry Sloan 98
8 Erik Spoelstra 85
9 K.C. Jones 81
T-10 George Karl 80
T-10 Lenny Wilkens 80
12 Rick Adelman 79
13 Steve Kerr 77