Most people believe to actually crack the top 5 or top 10 list of the best players in the NBA, one has to perform at an elite level in the postseason. Over the last decade or so, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Kawhi Leonard, and James Harden are arguably the top performers in that regard.
All five players have been fairly consistent with their performances. And apart from Harden, each player has a championship ring on their resume.
Today, we will dig deeper and have a look at the stats of each aforementioned player in the primes of their career. Credit for putting together the list goes to Reddit user u/random314157.
With that being said, here are the stats of all five players in the postseason during the prime years of their careers.
LeBron James (Prime: 2009-2020, 214 Games)
Stats: 29.1 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 7.2 APG, 1.7 STL, 1 BLK, 3.6 TOV (51/35/74 splits, 59.6% TS)
LeBron James and his playoff mode are real! The King has always been known to switch up to a higher gear during the postseason. He has undoubtedly the longest prime than any other modern-era player we have seen. During his prime, he went to 10 NBA finals and won four NBA championships. Out of the 10 finals appearances, eight were consecutive! Truly unreal.
Kevin Durant (Prime: 2012-Current, 128 Games)
Stats: 29.8 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 4.3 AST, 1.1 STL, 1.2 BLK, 3.3 TOV (49/36/87 splits, 60.7% TS)
Ever since entering the league, Durant has built a name for himself with his incredible scoring ability. The former MVP is still in the prime of his career and has won two NBA championships so far in his career. Considering he has a sensational team built around him in Brooklyn, KD might be on his way to winning one, possibly two more NBA titles before he retires.
Stephen Curry (Prime: 2015-2019, 93 Games)
Stats: 27.2 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 4.9 APG, 1.6 STL, 0.3 BLK, 3.5 TOV (45/40/91 splits, 61.6% TS)
Stephen Curry, the man who changed the entire league's way of playing basketball with his incredible 3-point shooting, will go down as the greatest shooter in the league's history. When it comes to postseason success, Curry has won three NBA championships in his career. Although Curry is still going strong in the regular season, he hasn't been able to perform consistently in the playoffs since the terrible wrist injury that kept him sidelined for a whole season.
Kawhi Leonard (Prime: 2016-Current, 70 Games)
Stats: 28.4 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 4.2 AST, 2.0 STL, 0.8 BLK, 2.5 TOV (51/39/88 splits, 62.9% TS)
Kawhi Leonard might not be the most vocal superstar in the league, but he definitely lets his game speak for him. Leonard tasted a sweet taste of victory early in his career with the San Antonio Spurs. But he truly became a superstar when he led the Toronto Raptors to the 2019 NBA championship and ended the Golden State Warriors dynasty. However, since he is currently injured, a cloud of uncertainty hovers over him returning at his 100%
James Harden (Prime: 2015-Current, 82 Games)
Stats: 27.8 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 7.5 AST, 1.9 STL, 0.6 BLK, 4.3 TOV (43/33/88 splits, 59.2% TS)
The only blemish on Harden's otherwise near-perfect career is the lack of an NBA championship on his resume. The former MVP spent most of his career with the Rockets, where he could have had a shot at winning his first-ever ring. But he failed to perform when it mattered the most. Despite some failures, when looking at the bigger picture, it would tell you about the true talents of Harden. Furthermore, he still has a lot of fuel left in his tank and can probably retire with a ring on his finger.
So this is how some of the best players of the last decade rank in terms of their performance in playoffs during the primes of their careers. Do you think the list accurately determines which player is the best player in the last decade or not? Feel free to drop your thoughts in the comments section below.