Winning in the regular season is good and all but it's nothing compared to the playoffs. The court gets slippier, more narrow, the crowd gets in your head, your biggest fears can take a toll on your game.
That's why the great players are known come playoff time. That's when it matters the most. Those players aren't afraid to take that big shot or put their body on the line to get a game-winning steal.
Throughout history, we've witnessed multiple stars struggle in the playoffs, even Hall of Famers. Today, we're going to talk about some of them, letting you know about the top 10 NBA players with the most losses in the first round of the playoffs.
10. Andre Miller - 37
Andre Miller is perhaps one of the most underrated players of all time. While never a superstar, he was always a serviceable backup point guard that could pass the rock like the best of them.
Miller spent a lot of time on the league and bounced around multiple teams so it's not exactly surprising to see him on this list. Still, we have to give this man his flowers, as he was a crafty and quite entertaining playmaker.
9. Joe Johnson - 37
It seems like Joe Johnson never broke out as the superstar he could've been but still, he had a pretty decent career in the league. He's one of the all-time great performers in the clutch, even if he didn't find much success in the playoffs.
Iso Joe was a walking bucket for most of his career. People give him a hard time because of all the money he made with the Brooklyn Nets. But hey, if they offer that much, how do you say no?
8. Jason Terry - 38
Jason Terry's veteran leadership always came in handy come playoff time. He was one of those players who often rise to the occasion and that will never back down from a challenge.
Terry's never-ending grit and energy on both ends of the floor, plus his shot-making ability, granted him a long and successful career in the league, but he also went home in the first round more than once.
7. Clifford Robinson - 39
Throughout their history, the Portland Trail Blazers have struggled to keep up with the rest of the powerhouses in the Western Conference. They've been a borderline playoff team more often than not.
The late Clifford Robinson was a solid player on both ends of the floor but his Blazers lacked the star power to get past their rivals, thus becoming a perennial first-round exit candidate.
6. Terry Porter - 39
Even though people don't bring up his name often, Terry Porter is actually one of the best and most respected players in Blazers history. Often overlooked because of Clyde Drexler, he put in a lot of work on both ends of the floor every single night.
Besides being a top-notch defender, Porter could get to his spots on the offensive end of the floor as well. Sadly, that didn't do much to prevent the Blazers from countless first-round losses.
5. Jason Kidd - 41
Even one of the greatest point guards of all time had it difficult in the playoffs. Jason Kidd was one of the most influential players in the game and a unique kind of guard, yet he was only able to win a ring in the sunset of his career.
Kidd led the New Jersey Nets to the NBA Finals but could never seal the deal as a starter. He was outstanding in the postseason more often than not but often lacked a truly good supporting cast next to him.
4. Karl Malone - 42
Albeit there's no denying that Karl Malone is one of the most dominant scorers of all time and a dominant force on both ends of the glass, he never found much success in the postseason.
The two times he and the Utah Jazz were actually able to go the distance and make it to the NBA Finals, they crashed to a moving train called Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. That's tough.
3. Carmelo Anthony - 42
Carmelo Anthony is one of the best pure scorers in NBA history. But his lack of success in the postseason, no rings, and the never-ending comparisons to LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will always make fans hold it against him.
Even so, Anthony completely turned around the Denver Nuggets franchise. He made them a perennial playoff team and a legit contender out of the West, even if they could never reach the NBA Finals.
2. John Stockton - 43
Just like it happened with Karl Malone, John Stockton never found much success in the postseason. He was as good, efficient, and reliable as always, but they could never win a ring.
Stockton was a bit of a late bloomer but once he held on to the starting point guard spot, he never looked back. It's quite unlikely that another player will ever take him down in the all-time steals and assists lists, given his durability.
1. Dirk Nowitzki - 43
We all consider Dirk Nowitzki to be a winner. He single-handedly put the Dallas Mavericks on the map, and led them to a couple of NBA Finals, even beating the Miami Heat's Big 3.
Even so, it wasn't always easy for the Great Teuton. If anything, Nowitzki had to endure more losses in the first round than any other player in the history of the league, making his ring even more valuable.