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NBA Playoff Leaders Since 2010: LeBron James Leads In Every Category Except 3-Pointers And Blocks

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NBA Playoff Leaders Since 2010: LeBron James Leads In Every Category Except 3-Pointers And Blocks

The NBA Playoffs are where legends are born and legacies are cemented. One bad game or series can stain your legacy forever while leading your team to the top of the mountain can place you amongst the greatest players to ever live. The NBA Playoffs are where dynasties have come to fruition and where lack of sustained success can lead to the overhaul of an organization. It is a magical place that at the same time can be the source of so much pain.

Since 2010, the NBA Playoffs have seemed to be dominated by two different entities. LeBron James and the Golden State Warriors with Steph Curry and Kevin Durant. For the past 13 seasons, James has solidified himself as a Top 2 player in NBA history while the Golden State Warriors have entered the greatest team of all time conversation. Since 2010, LeBron James and Golden State have won eight championships out of 13 seasons combined. A lot of the time, they were battling each other for basketball’s ultimate prize, the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Expect to see either LeBron James or a few of those Warriors show up either at or near the top of most of these categories below.

Here are the players who have made the most out of their time in the postseason since 2010:

Points - LeBron James

1. LeBron James - 5,870 Points

2. Kevin Durant - 4,559 Points

3. Stephen Curry - 3,570 Points

Since 2010, LeBron James has played 206 total playoff games. You would think his place at the top of the points leaderboard is a reflection of that, but there is so much more to it. On a per-game basis, James averages 28.5 PPG since 2010, which sits 2nd behind only Kevin Durant who is 2nd in total points. Since 2010, LeBron has averaged at least 23.0 PPG in every playoff run he has been a part of and over 30.0 PPG four times. The man is simply one of the greatest playoff scorers ever.

As for Durant, the window seems to be still open a bit for him to catch LeBron. Durant has been a part of a playoff team 12 out of 13 seasons since 2010. He has played at least 12 games in every postseason aside from 2022 and averaged 29.4 PPG. He sits 1,211 points behind James, which means he would need four more postseasons as he did in 2021 to have a shot and pray LeBron’s team continues to miss the playoffs, although not likely. Stephen Curry is also within striking distance but again is 2,200 points behind LeBron currently coming off a playoff that saw him score 602 points and win the championship. Can Curry and the Warriors continue to compete for championships and give him a shot? I can’t find any reason to say no.

Rebounds - LeBron James

1. LeBron James - 1,895 Rebounds

2. Draymond Green - 1,308 Rebounds

3. Kevin Durant - 1,094 Rebounds

We may be able to chalk this one up to longevity for LeBron James, but that’s not a slight at him. Longevity and playing more playoff games should never be counted against someone as a negative. The fact is LeBron has played over 50 games more than Draymond Green and Kevin Durant who sit at No.2 and No.3 on this list. His RPG is still higher than both of those players at 9.2 RPG while Draymond is at 9.0 RPG and Durant is at 7.8 RPG. It is sustained greatness at its finest on James’ part. For Draymond or Durant to catch LeBron’s rebound total, they would each need at least six more playoff runs at their current rebounding pace to match him. It is safe to say that these two are not the ones to be worried about.

The one that finds himself roaring up our list is Giannis Antetokounmpo. Giannis has played just 76 playoff games, 130 fewer games than LeBron. The crazy thing is, Giannis and the Bucks only started making the playoffs in 2015. In just seven playoff appearances, Giannis finds himself slightly lower than halfway to James’ total rebounds. At his current pace, it would take eight more playoff runs of his 12.0 RPG to make a run at LeBron’s top spot. As he establishes himself as the best player in the league and Milwaukee’s core has committed to their success long term, this is completely possible by the time Giannis’s career is said and done.

Assists - LeBron James

1. LeBron James - 1,483 Assists

2. Chris Paul - 994 Assists

3. James Harden - 922 Assists

You can attribute this one to whatever you want, but make no mistake about it, LeBron James is one of the best playoff passers/playmakers ever. His ability to elevate his teammates to levels they otherwise may not reach is historical and largely due to his passing. His biggest attribute when it comes to his passing is his innate ability to get to the basket. Defenses inevitably have to collapse on James or he will put you away with his ability to finish almost anything at the rim. What makes that so dangerous is that this leaves his teammates with more space and time to work with. James’ 20/20 court vision allows him to find these open spots with ease and lead his teammates to easy scores.

The players closest to LeBron in this category don’t stand a chance to catch him. Chris Paul is going to be 38 and while he is one of the best passers the NBA has ever seen, time is just not on his side. As for James Harden, who sits 3rd, he is 561 assists behind LeBron. He will be contending in the postseason for a few more seasons with the core that has been built in Philly, but it seems like too tall of an order to achieve. I think we will have to wait for the younger guys like Luka Doncic and Trae Young to gather some playoff experience before we see anyone come close to LeBron’s total.

Steals - LeBron James

1. LeBron James - 356 Steals

2. James Harden - 247 Steals

3. Kawhi Leonard - 240 Steals

Not only has LeBron James had the most steals since 2010, but he also has the most steals in playoff history, period. His 454 steals is ahead of Scottie Pippen with 395 and Michael Jordan with 376. The next closest active player to LeBron’s 454 is Chris Paul, who is 14th all-time in playoff history with 275 and right behind him is James Harden at 18th with 247. It is yet another record that LeBron holds that we will have to wait for the future generation of stars to try to challenge.

The only player that seems to have enough time left to challenge LeBron is Jimmy Butler, who has 162 career playoff steals. However, even Jimmy Butler turns 33 this season, and time seems to be running out considering he is nearly 200 steals behind. The most curious case here is Kawhi Leonard. He sits just 116 steals behind LeBron since 2010 and 234 steals behind him overall. Does he have enough left to make a push coming off of missing the entire 2022 season? That remains to be seen, as does a real challenge to LeBron’s throne as far as steals go.

Blocks - Serge Ibaka

1. Serge Ibaka - 292 Blocks

2. LeBron James - 204 Blocks

3. Draymond Green - 202 Blocks

The real race here is for second place, as Serge Ibaka has run away with the top spot with 292 blocks. Just two career playoff blocks separate Draymond and LeBron and if things keep going as they did in 2022, Draymond is primed to take the 2nd spot. As it stands, Ibaka ranks 8th all-time in playoff blocks with his 292 while LeBron ranks 10th with 252. Draymond places 22nd with 202 blocks in the playoffs for his career.

For now, Ibaka’s spot here is safe. LeBron is going to be 38 next season and coming off of a year where his team didn’t even make the playoffs. Draymond looks to have a consistent spot in the postseason with the Warriors being a perennial threat to make a deep run when healthy but for how long nobody knows. Others are either too far toward the end or beginning of their careers to talk about a serious push to pass him. The player with the best trajectory to challenge Ibaka is once again is Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has recorded 103 blocks in 76 games played in the playoffs.

Turnovers - LeBron James

1. LeBron James - 752 Turnovers

2. James Harden - 520 Turnovers

3. Kevin Durant - 501 Turnovers

Just like many other categories that we have listed so far, LeBron James is the clear-cut top playoff turnover machine of the last 13 seasons. The real race yet again is for 2nd place, where James Harden and Kevin Durant are separated by 19 turnovers. Again, LeBron is the leader in all-time turnovers in the playoffs with a whopping 975, which is almost 300 turnovers more than 2nd place. James Harden, who is 2nd since 2010, ranks back at 12th all-time and Kevin Durant is at 15th.

All three of these players have in common that they each are their respective team’s primary ball-handler. Being at the top of this category is bound to happen when you accumulate the number of possessions that each of these players has. It being the playoffs just adds more pressure to the situation. On a per-game basis, LeBron ranks 2nd since 2010 with 3.7 while Russell Westbrook sits at the No.1 spot in turnovers per game with a staggering 4.0.

3-Point Field Goals - Stephen Curry

1. Stephen Curry - 561 3-Pointers Made

2. Klay Thompson - 451 3-Pointers Made

3. James Harden - 369 3-Pointers Made

The scary part about seeing Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson at the top of the three-pointers made category is that they also hold the top spots for three-point percentage. Klay shoots the long ball at 41.0% which is the best since 2010 while Stephen Curry shoots 40.1% which is 2nd. Adding to these impressive numbers is the fact that Curry ranks 1st in attempts with 10.4 3PA per game and Klay ranks 3rd with 7.6 3PA. To think anyone can catch these two shortly is just wrong considering the man sitting at 3rd, James Harden is nearly 200 makes behind Curry.

The movement in this category will be from outside the Top 3. Sitting at 4th place since 2010 is LeBron James, who is just 24 3-pointers behind Harden. Just one 3-pointer separates LeBron and the man behind him with 344 threes, Kevin Durant. This Top 5 is seemingly set in stone for a while as the players further behind them have a lot of work to do. Stephen Curry’s spot at the top is sure to be his for quite some time as well. For reference, in 2022 Curry hit the 3rd highest playoff total of threes in his career with 229 on his way to his 4th championship. With the way the Warriors are built to keep competing, Curry is only going to add to his total.

Field-Goals - LeBron James

1. LeBron James - 2,141 Field Goals Made

2. Kevin Durant - 1,540 Field Goals Made

3. Stephen Curry - 1,181 Field Goals Made

Surprise, surprise, LeBron James is both the leader in playoff buckets since 2010 and all-time. LeBron sits atop the all-time list with 2,777 baskets in the postseason. As for Durant, he ranks 12th with 1,697 and Curry is 18th with 1,434. There is certainly time for Durant and Curry to make a dent in LeBron's lead, especially when you look at their trends.

For Durant, 2022 was a bad season for his progress in this race, considering he only made 32 shots in a 1st round loss to the Boston Celtics on 83 attempts. Leading up to that point, Durant had made a minimum of 110 field goals in each playoff run since 2011. If he can somehow find his way back to that type of scoring, he still has a chance to make a run at James.

Free Throws - LeBron James

1. LeBron James - 1,243 Free Throws

2. Kevin Durant - 1,135 Free Throws

3. James Harden - 1,011 Free Throws

This category is extremely close between the top three players as far as things go since 2010. On an all-time scale, LeBron is the all-time leader in free throws by 614 foul shots. Durant has been within striking distance since 2010 and with over 100 free throw attempts, each playoff run aside from 2022, it could happen in the next few years. Of course, that hinges on whether the Lakers can get back to the playoffs and where Kevin Durant is playing the next few seasons.

Harden, Durant, and LeBron are the only three active players within the Top 20 on the all-time list. Each of these guys is aggressive in their attack on the rim and they thrive on trying to get to the foul line. Harden is the least likely of the three to maneuver much on this list, as his free throw attempts have been sporadic since leaving Houston. In 2021 with the Nets, Harden attempted just 62 shots from the foul line and 75 attempts with Philadelphia in 2022. We will see if he is healthy enough to make a push moving forward. As for LeBron’s lead, it is safe for now.

Wins- LeBron James

1. LeBron James - 138 Wins

2. Danny Green - 104 Wins

T3. Draymond Green - 102 Wins

T3. Klay Thompson - 102 Wins

T3. Andre Iguodala - 102 Wins

Did you expect anything else? Being the all-time leader in nearly every major category is bound to lead to the most wins by any player, and that is exactly what it’s done for LeBron. James' overall record since 2010 in the playoffs is 138-63 and overall it is 174-92. His playoff dominance has led to four championships and four Finals MVPs since 2010.

The only players that have a real chance at catching James are the members of the Golden State Warriors that you see listed above. Stephen Curry lags behind a bit due to missing games with an injury and sits at 92 wins since 2010. As for Draymond and Klay, they can easily get there if the Warriors make two more deep playoff runs. It takes 20 wins to take home a championship, so if the Warriors can continue to contend and the Lakers continue to struggle, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that they catch him. For now, LeBron James remains the king in the playoffs. 


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