Chris Paul is currently leading the Los Angeles Clippers against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Semifinals, chasing what he hopes will become his first NBA title.
But CP3 is also chasing history. The Clippers’ guard is currently among the NBA’s all-time leaders in assists per playoff game.
With data taken from basketball-reference.com, here are the top five leaders in postseason assists per game (data current as of May 8, 2014.)
1) Magic Johnson – 12.4 APG
Magic led the Showtime Lakers to five NBA titles during his Hall of Fame career, dishing out more postseason assists than any player in league history in the process. Johnson was named the Finals MVP three times – 1979-80, 1981-82, and 1986-87. Magic not only leads this assists list, he dominates it, outpacing No. 2 John Stockton by more than two dimes per game.
2) John Stockton – 10.1 APG
It is almost cruel having Hall of Famer John Stockton No. 2 on this list because despite being one of the best point guards in NBA history, Stockton is often lumped into the group of legends to never win a title, coming up just short of No. 1. The former Jazz guard was nothing short of brilliant in his career, including the playoffs where he averaged 13.4 points, 10.1 assists, and 1.9 steals in 182 postseason games.
3) Chris Paul – 9.5 APG
Though he has played in just 49 career playoff games in this his ninth NBA season, Chris Paul has made the most of his opportunities by averaging 18.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 9.5 assists, and 2.4 steals. With a strong showing throughout the duration of the 2013-14 playoffs, CP3 could be within striking distance of John Stockton for the No. 2 spot.
4) Rajon Rondo – 9.2 APG
Rondo had a phenomenal 2011-12 playoff run, averaging 17.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, and a playoffs-leading 11.9 assists per game before the Boston Celtics lost in seven games to LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Rondo then missed the 2012-13 playoffs due to injury, then the rebuilding Celtics did not qualify for the postseason in 2013-14. Time will only tell when Rondo will once again have the chance to shine in the playoffs.
5) Oscar Robertson – 8.9 APG
Oscar Robertson led his teams to the playoffs in 10 different season, and Robertson ended up leading the playoffs in assists per game in seven of those 10 seasons. Robertson, a Hall of Famer, led the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks to the NBA title while averaging 18.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, and a playoffs-high 8.9 assists per game.