The regular season introduces stars; the postseason immortalizes them. Let’s take a look at the NBA players with the most points in their playoff debut.
For an NBA player, the postseason is where the grit and grind starts. Every game is a must-win for all 16 teams competing for the Larry O’Brien trophy. This is where hearts break, and where the basketball gods maketh hoop legends.
That’s why there’s no other nerve-racking experience than a playoff debut. Not only does the spotlight point towards the players, but they also deal with the heavy expectations, the feisty road game atmosphere, and the hope to just clinch one game at a time.
However, some players have defied the said expectations and were able to impress with remarkable scoring performances in their first stint in the postseason. Let’s take a look at the names of these hoopers that marked their way on the NBA record books with the most points scored in playoff debuts.
4th (tied): Derrick Rose – 36 points
Bulls (vs. celtics) – April 18, 2009
Let’s talk about Rose’s spectacular season in 2009. He was drafted by the Bulls as the number one overall pick that summer. He led the Bulls to a seventh-seed in the playoffs and became a front-runner for the Rookie of the Year.
Not only did the city of Chicago have high hopes for him and the Bulls, but they also booked a first-round match-up against the defending NBA champions, the Boston Celtics.
Pressured? Definitely. But the eventual All-Star was able to shrug it off and finished with 36 points in his playoff debut. The Bulls went on to win, 105-103.
Chicago eventually lost the series in an instant classic of a seven-game series. Despite this, his performance had Rose on Chicago’s radar as the second coming of Michael Jordan.