John Havlicek vs. Michael Jordan: Statistical comparison of 2 legends from different NBA eras

John Havlicek vs. Michael Jordan: Statistical comparison
John Havlicek vs. Michael Jordan: Statistical comparison

Drafted seventh overall by the Boston Celtics in the 1962 NBA draft, John Havlicek is considered one of the greatest NBA players while also being recognized as a Celtics legend. At the time, he was also a versatile player who was capable of playing both guard positions along with the small forward position.

Havlicek played 16 seasons in the NBA and he did it with only one team, the Boston Celtics.

Considered as one of the best shooting guards, how does he compare to the NBA legend Michael Jordan?

This article will look at the statistical comparison of these two NBA legends who played during two different NBA eras.

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Comparing John Havlicek and Michael Jordan from a statistical standpoint

Here's a look at how John Havlicek matches up with Michael Jordan statistically.

John Havlicek

In the 16 seasons he played in the NBA, Havlicek averaged 20.8 points per game (43.9% shooting), 6.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists. In that span, the Celtics legend had eight consecutive seasons of 20+ points per game.

His highest-scoring season was during the 1970-71 season. During that season, Havlicek averaged 28.9 ppg (45.0% shooting) while adding 9.0 rpg and 7.5 apg. Additionally, he averaged 45.4 minutes per game in that season.

He almost matched those minutes in the following season with 45.1 minutes per game and averaged 27.5 ppg (45.8% shooting).

John Havlicek had his most efficient shooting season during the 1969-70 season when he averaged 24.2 ppg (46.4% shooting).

Michael Jordan

Jordan played 15 seasons in the NBA and managed to average 30.1 ppg (49.7% shooting, including 32.7% from 3-point range), 6.2 rpg and 5.3 apg. Michael Jordan never had a season with lower than 20+ points per game. He had eight seasons of 30+ points per game and 12 seasons of 26+ points per game.

Michael Jordan's highest-scoring season was during the 1986-87 season. In his third year in the league, Jordan wanted to follow an injury-riddled sophomore season with one of his best at the time. He put up 37.1 ppg (48.2% shooting, including 18.2% from 3-point range), while adding 5.2 rpg and 4.6 apg.

Additionally, he averaged 40.0 minutes per game in that season. The Chicago Bulls legend eclipsed those minutes in the following season with 40.4 minutes per game.

Jordan had his most efficient shooting season during the 1990-91 season, when he put up 31.5 ppg (53.9% shooting, including 31.2% from 3-point range) with 6.0 rpg and 5.5 apg.


In Summation

From the statistics presented, the matchup is close but Michael Jordan was able to do more while doing it in an efficient manner. During John Havlicek's NBA era, shooting 3-pointers was not a norm yet, as he never had the chance to test the range of his shotmaking.

His highest-scoring season falls short of catching or matching up to what Jordan did.

The eras they played in differed in playing styles and what was being practiced at the time. However, Havlicek still managed to be one of the more efficient scorers who averaged a high number of points at a time that didn't look heavily into statistics.

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Edited by Rajdeep Barman
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