The NBA is constantly adapting over time.
A prime example is the introduction of the new format for the All-Star Game. Off its success in 2019 and the bizarre frenzy the COVID-19 pandemic created with the season restart, the NBA adopted the Play-In Game for the first time.
While in the Walt Disney World bubble, there was only one game played between the Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trail Blazers, but its success and competitive nature brought about plenty of eyeballs and buzz.
As statistics in the Play-In Games don't count towards NBA Playoffs stats, have a look at the all-time leaderboard for the Play-In games for major statistical categories:
In 2021, Jayson Tatum made Play-In Tournament history against the Washington Wizards with his 50-point performance, the most scored in a single Play-In game.
However, with that being the only Play-In Game he has appeared in for his career, that performance puts him at fifth on the all-time charts for most career points in Play-In Tournament with Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies leading the way.
|Rank||Player||Play-In games played||Total points|
|1.||Ja Morant (MEM)||3||90|
|2.||Stephen Curry (GSW)||2||76|
|3.||Dillon Brooks (MEM)||3||58|
|4.||Jonas Valanciunas (MEM)||3||54|
|5.||Jayson Tatum (BOS)||1||50|
|6.||Bradley Beal (WAS)||2||47|
|7.||Andrew Wiggins (GSW)||2||43|
|8.||Malcolm Brogdon (IND)||2||40|
|9.||Russell Westbrook (WAS)||2||38|
|10.||Doug McDermott (IND)||2||34|
In the midst of two of his best years in the league, Jonas Valanciunas was the starting center of the Grizzlies squad that played the most number of Play-In games possible.
So, it should come as no surprise that the 6-foot-11 Lithuanian is at the top.
|Rank||Player||Play-In games played||Total Rebounds|
|1.||Jonas Valanciunas (MEM)||3||52|
|2.||Domantas Sabonis (IND)||2||32|
|3.||Draymond Green (GSW)||2||25|
|4.||Russell Westbrook (WAS)||2||22|
|Kyle Anderson (MEM)||3||22|
|6.||Daniel Gafford (WAS)||2||18|
|7.||Kevon Looney (GSW)||2||17|
|8.||Bradley Beal (WAS)||2||14|
|9.||Andrew Wiggins (GSW)||2||13|
|10.||Dejounte Murray (SAS)||1||13|
The 21-year-old Morant doesn't just lead the all-time charts for most career points in a Play-In game but is atop the assists charts as well, tied with idol Russell Westbrook.
|Rank||Player||Play-In Games played||Total Assists|
|1.||Russell Westbrook (WAS)||2||20|
|Ja Morant (MEM)||3||20|
|3.||Domantas Sabonis (IND)||2||19|
|4.||Draymond Green (GSW)||2||18|
|5.||Kyle Anderson (MEM)||3||17|
|6.||Malcolm Brogdon (IND)||2||12|
|7.||Dejounte Murray (SAS)||1||11|
|8.||LeBron James (LAL)||1||10|
|Damian Lillard (POR)||1||10|
|Bradley Beal (WAS)||2||10|
Morant is near the top in the steals charts as well but it's led by two veteran guards in Bazemore, a 6-foot-4 guard who returned to the Warriors having previously represented them in 2014, and T.J. McConnell, a 6-foot-1 guard who led the league in total steals during the regular season.
|Rank||Player||Play-In Games played||Total Steals|
|1.||Kent Bazemore (GSW)||2||7|
|2.||T.J. McConnell (IND)||2||6|
|3.||Ja Morant (MEM)||3||5|
|Gary Trent Jr. (POR)||1||5|
|Dillon Brooks (MEM)||3||5|
|6.||Draymond Green (GSW)||2||4|
|Russell Westbrook (WAS)||2||4|
|Grayson Allen (MEM)||3||4|
A late-season acquisition to the Wizards, Daniel Gafford's defensive hustle was key to the Washington Wizards' 17-6 run to cap-off the season through April and early May.
His energy and play continued in the two Play-In games that saw the team advance to the playoffs, putting him atop the leaderboard.
|Rank||Player||Play-In Games played||Total Blocks|
|1.||Daniel Gafford (WAS)||2||7|
|Kyle Anderson (MEM)||3||7|
|3.||Jakob Poeltl (SAS)||1||5|
|4.||Draymond Green (GSW)||2||4|
|Goga Bitadze (IND)||2||4|
|6.||Andrew Wiggins (GSW)||2||3|
|Bradley Beal (WAS)||2||3|
|Jaren Jackson Jr. (MEM)||2||3|
|Kevon Looney (GSW)||2||3|
|Jonas Valanciunas (MEM)||3||3|
Stephen Curry being at the top shouldn't be a surprise to anybody. He already leads the all-time charts for postseason 3-pointers and ranks a close second to 3-pointers in the all-time regular-season leaderboard.
While injuries and multiple other factors forced him and the Golden State Warriors to participate in the 2021 Play-In Tournament, here's hoping that this is one 3-pointers chart he is not leading so that he can put his talents on display in the real postseason.
|Rank||Player||Play-In Games played||Total 3-pointers|
|1.||Stephen Curry (GSW)||2||12|
|2.||Ja Morant (MEM)||3||10|
|3.||Doug McDermott (IND)||2||7|
|Malcolm Brogdon (IND)||2||7|
|5.||Kemba Walker (BOS)||1||6|
|6.||Jayson Tatum (BOS)||1||5|
|Damian Lillard (POR)||1||5|
|Bradley Beal (WAS)||2||5|
|Jordan Poole (GSW)||2||5|
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