The first round of the NBA playoffs was filled with unexpected results. The New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in a one-sided affair, the Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets all lost their first games, and the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and Vancouver Canucks all made their series debut in the first round.
The NBA playoffs are ending, but there is still tons of basketball to go. For example, just yesterday, LeBron James put on a show, scoring 52 points in the first round of the playoffs, while Kobe Bryant put up a triple-double, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a win. LeBron James received the most MVP votes of all the players who were playing. This NBA season was a good one for LeBron, as he won the NBA Championship, and he also led the Cavaliers to the second best record in the league.
As the second round of the NBA playoffs rolls around, can one player be the MVP of the playoffs? That’s what the pundits are saying, but what does the data have to say? To help you decide, this blog will examine what the most valuable player award means, and the criteria for determining which player is the best in the NBA.. Read more about nba playoff bracket 2021 and let us know what you think.The first round of the NBA playoffs is over. And what a final it was: In Game 7 against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Clippers sent Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and others to the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference semifinals. Before the Clippers and Mavs entered the fray, many other stars were traded in the first round: Giannis Antitokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the defending champion Miami Heat, while the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers needed just five games to reach the Conference semifinals. In the West, Devin Booker led the Phoenix Suns to a win over defending champion Los Angeles Lakers, while Nikola Jokic’s Denver Nuggets defeated Damian Lillard’s Portland Trail Blazers in two thrilling sweeps in six games. And Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and the Jazz sent the Memphis Grizzlies home by five points after Ja Morant took care of a surprising loss in Game 1. But which of these stars became first round MVP? Our NBA experts give their picks. Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images Doncic set the bar high in his playoff debut last season, when the transplanted Mavericks beat the Clippers in six games in the first round. He raised the bar in the rematch between the two teams in the postseason, despite losing the series. Doncic, who has had to carry a heavy offensive load like no other in the playoffs, averaged 35.7 points and 10.7 assists, well above his outstanding numbers (31.0 points, 8.7 assists) in his first NBA playoff appearance. And Doncic’s stats in this series are skewed by his rough Game 4, when a whiplash injury prevented him from looking to his left without feeling excruciating pain. Oh my God, he did everything, said Clippers star Kawhi Leonard.
Luka Doncic: 1st round Statistics
|Percentage of shots on target||49.0|
|Passes per game||10.3|
|Tips for playing||7.9|
|Interceptions per game||1.3|
Doncic did so when his supposed second star, Kristaps Porzingis, was relegated to a role player on a max contract. Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle has decided that Porzingis can better help the Mavs attack the Clippers’ small lineups by spreading the floor so Doncic has room to work his magic. Of course, the reason the Clippers replaced their usual lineup with a small one is because Doncic is so dangerous. Early in the series, he targeted Los Angeles center Ivica Zubac so often and repeatedly used turnovers on him that Clippers head coach Tai Liu had no choice but to bench the big man. Doncic, who won titles with Real Madrid and the Slovenian national team as a teenager, is hungry for such a move. He proved it last season in the playoffs. No, the Mavs didn’t get past the first round, but his win in Game 4, in which he had a triple-double with 43 points, was one of the highlights of the bubble. The Mavs suffered another defeat on Sunday, despite Doncic scoring the most points in Game 7 with 77 (he scored 46 and handed out 14 assists). I think he’s proven before the start of this series that he’s among the best five players in the world, Carlisle said. This series certainly confirms that. — Tim McMahon. AP Photo/Morry Gash Last summer, Antitokounmpo and the Bucks failed to beat the Miami Heat in the second round of the playoffs. An offseason of introspection followed, along with changes in Milwaukee’s composition and approach. All this was put to the test in the very first round, when the same game was on. Antetokounmpo responded by leading Milwaukee to its most surprising and impressive first-round result: four-game win over the defending Eastern Conference champions, including the final three games.
Giannis Antetokounmpo: 1st round Statistics
|Percentage of shots on target||45.0|
|Passes per game||7.8|
|Tips for playing||15.0|
|Blocks per match||0.8|
|Interceptions per game||1.8|
Antetokounmpo’s numbers were far from ideal – he hit 45.9 percent from the field and 1-of-16 from 3-point range – but what stood out about his performance was how he, and by extension the Bucks, fought their demons from the past. After Antetokounmpo was criticized in the past for not accepting the challenge of guarding the opponent’s best player, he guarded Jimmy Butler for most of the series, and Butler struggled 19-for-64 in four games. After successfully building a wall that consistently thwarted Antetokounmpo in the playoffs last year, the Heat recorded an impressive 31:12 assist-to-turnover ratio in the first round, including a masterpiece of 15 assists (with just two turnovers) in Game 4. This series isn’t going to change everything that’s happened in Milwaukee over the last two years. Only a win in this series against the Nets – and in the next two – will completely change these conversations. But for a team with a lot at stake in this postseason, the first-round rematch against the Heat was a chance for Antetokounmpo and the Bucks to either repeat an old story or write a whole new script. It didn’t take long for them to show that this year could be different. And, as always, Antetokounmpo was the leader. — Tim Bontemps AP Photo/Brynn Anderson
Tre Young: 1st round Statistics
|Percentage of shots on target||44.1|
|Passes per game||9.8|
|Tips for playing||2.8|
|Interceptions per game||0.6|
The Madison Square Garden maestro impressed in his first playoff appearance. Analysts have long wondered if Young’s small stature would be a problem against defenders who can devise schemes to take the ball out of his hands and against an offense that targets him on switchbacks. The answer is that Young has pretty much always been in the post-season. He averaged 52 points per game through his own points and points scored through assists, the fourth-highest total of the first round. Young’s place in this list reflects both the number of his posts and their timeliness. In his postseason debut, he scored 13 points and handed out three assists in the fourth quarter of a tight first game at Gardena, which ended with the winning shot with less than a second to go when the game was still tied. Young scored a total of 41 points in 40 minutes of the fourth quarter, matching Memphis Grizzlies guard Morant for most points scored in a final frame in the first round. It is also impressive that Young has performed several times in a hostile environment: Knicks fans scanned for him from the start of the game, he turned them away at the end of Game 1 and lost after Atlanta’s decisive win in Game 5. On the NBA’s most famous stage, Young led the show to victory from start to finish. — Kevin Pelton. Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images) In case anyone needs a reminder of Leonard’s greatness – or more specifically, his playoff greatness – Games 6 and 7 are the last of this story. His 45 points in Game 6, in which he scored 18 of his 25 points with Doncic doing most of the defensive work in the second half, should be the game that makes the list of best away games.
Kawhi Leonard: 1st round Statistics
|Percentage of shots on target||61.2|
|Passes per game||4.6|
|Tips for playing||7.9|
|Interceptions per game||2.3|
|Blocks per match||1.0|
The Magic in Game 6 would be useless without an encore, and Leonard excelled again. He scored 28 points with another ridiculously efficient 10-for-15 shooting, added 10 rebounds and 9 assists, and Doncic’s individual defense (although Doncic scored 46 points). For the Clippers, it was potentially a defining moment for a franchise consumed by memes and jokes, and for a front office that may face harsh realities after yet another early exit from the postseason. And for Leonard, too, there could have been unexpected assessments about his future, questions about the Los Angeles roster and whether he was ultimately the right choice. But Leonard saved the Clippers from that, at least for a few weeks. It came alive when the Clippers should have, in response to a disappointing Game 5 in which their backs were against the wall. He has emerged as one of the players you should pay the most attention to in Game 7, as Leonard’s robotic killer instinct shines through in a game that can depend on emotional swings. — Royce Young. Steph Chambers/Getty Images Lillard’s 55-point masterpiece in Game 5 against Denver wasn’t enough, but it summed up his time in Portland perfectly. Despite the incredible performance of their point guard, the Blazers can’t seem to turn the corner. The Nuggets won that big game and destroyed the Blazers in Game 6. But here’s the thing: Lillard’s incredible shot attempt not only proved that he’s one of the most formidable players the league has ever seen, but it also reminded us that he doesn’t have enough support in Portland. He was the only reason they could even compete in this series.
Damian Lillard: 1st round Statistics
|Percentage of shots on target||46.3|
|Passes per game||10.2|
|Tips for playing||4.3|
|Blocks per match||0.7|
|Interceptions per game||1.0|
Lillard broke the record for most three-pointers in a series in just six games, making a ridiculous 44.9 percent of his 78 total three-point attempts, which is particularly impressive considering his shooting condition. His average throw distance on those attempts was 28.3 feet, and the vast majority of his attempts were non-passing. In the NBA, 78% of three-point attempts are assisted, but only 29% of Lillard’s three-point shots in the first round were assisted. Of those 79 attempts, only 6 were catch and shoot attempts. Lillard hit nearly 45% of his three-pointers, but most of those were made while running, shooting up or dribbling through screens. He generated his difficult throws from deep and then took them away at an alarming rate. — Kirk Goldsberry Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images Booker set a record in Game 6 when the Suns dismantled the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. Booker scored 47 points – 15 on 22 eight-pointers – and closed out his first run of the postseason in fine fashion. Oh, and he did, playing 46 minutes and staying hot until the end. After the game, Booker told reporters he was thinking about Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and the conversations they had earlier in the evening. When you see the 8 and 24, with the lighting at Staples, it feels like it lights us up, Booker said. And I know he was here tonight. I know he was there tonight. I know he’s in the building. I know he was proud.
Devin Booker: 1st round Statistics
|Percentage of shots on target||48.8|
|Passes per game||5.0|
|Tips for playing||6.2|
|Interceptions per game||0.5|
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 47 points are the most for a player winning a series for the first time in his career. He matched Anthony Davis – who played just five minutes for the Lakers in Game 6 before being sidelined with a groin injury – who played 47 minutes against the Trail Blazers in 2018. Booker scored 30 or more points four times in the series and had to carry the load for Phoenix with point guard Chris Paul out with a right shoulder injury. After the Suns lost 2-1 to the Lakers, Booker averaged 31.3 points and 8.3 rebounds while hitting .559/.524/.944 in Phoenix’s three consecutive wins. — Andrew Lopez
Others got votes: Deandre Ayton, Suns; Kevin Durant, Nets; James Harden, Nets; Nikola Jokic, Nuggets; Chris Middleton, Bucks; Donovan Mitchell, Jazz.The NBA playoffs start tomorrow, and it’s a month of basketball in the truest sense of the word. For fans, it’s the perfect blend of entertainment and competition, and it’s a chance to see your favorite team play in the playoffs. But what about the players? Are they as excited as their fans?. Read more about nba playoffs tv schedule and let us know what you think.
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