While superstars ultimately win games in the playoffs, the supporting cast is just as important for the success of a team, and today I wanted to shout out a few role players
who took their game to the next level in the postseason.
What up everybody, my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check. Let’s get into it.
Starting off with Dillon Brooks. Although the Grizzlies lost in 5 games way back in the first round, Memphis did play 2 more games in the play-in tournament as well, and to me that was more than enough to notice the intensity both offensively but especially on the defensive end by Brooks.
He scored 8 and a half more points per game, but as impressive as that is, look at some of the defense that he played. Chasing Steph Curry all over the court in that deciding play in game. This sequence is even tiring for me to watch.
He also shut down Demar Derozan in that 9 vs 10 matchup and you can see some of that lockdown defense here. And not to mention the fun back and forth that he had against Donovan Mitchell.
All in all he’s become one of my favorite players to watch, and I would definitely have him on my team. There is little to no coverage of the Memphis Grizzlies and when there is, the focus is on Ja Morant, so I just wanted to highlight a player who I feel is extremely important for the success of that team. The future is bright for them however, so I expect a lot more national TV exposure for this squad, and with that hopefully people will get to watch the energy on both ends of the court that Dillon brings every night.
Next, we have Derrick Rose. From the moment that he was traded to the Knicks midseason, he completely turned this team around. It culminated with them unexpectedly climbing to the number 4 spot in the standings.
Besides the almost 5 point jump from the regular season, the reason why I’m putting him on this list is because Derrick was the main scorer for the Knicks and at times the only one who could consistently get buckets for this team. Especially with the total collapse of Julius Randle who despite being voted most improved player, disappeared in the playoffs shooting a catastrophic 29.8% from the field.
The Knicks desperately needed some boost, and midway through that series Rose was moved from the bench to the starting lineup as it was obvious that he needed more playing time.
Although New York lost in the first round, Derrick’s heroics especially from game 2 where he single handedly won it for the home crowd will definitely be remembered.
Let’s now move on to a player that’s still in title contention.
Reggie Jackson took his game to a whole new level scoring more than 17 points per game, up from 10.7 in the season.
He is also extremely efficient at 50.6% this postseason, which is quite a bit better than his 45% from the field that he shot during the season.
Jackson had some clutch moments both against the Mavs as well as Utah in the second round. This is on brand as he’s never been one to shy away and be afraid of the big moment.
Ty Lue will need Reggie to come up big in the conference finals as well for the Clippers to prevail against Phoenix.
And possibly the biggest explosion in these playoffs and the biggest jump from the regular season was made by Seth Curry.
Just look at these numbers: Almost 19 points per game, up from 12.5, but then look at the shooting. Almost 58% from the field and you know that’s all on jumpers, he’s not a slasher to the basket and he’s definitely not gonna dunk it. Which of course makes this number that much more impressive. To top things off, dude shot a blistering 50.6% from downtown, on high volume of shots and with his phenomenal play Curry single handedly made the entire Dallas Mavericks organization look bad for swapping him for Josh Richardson.
I feel like playing alongside Joel Embiid is a perfect environment for Curry and seeing how he could take on a bigger responsibility and provide scoring- things could open up for a similar type of jump next season as well.
At the end I also wanna give a shoutout to a few players for their single game explosions.
Terrance Mann went off for 39 points against the Jazz to clinch the series in game 6. He’s a 7 point per game guy in the season. That’s crazy.
Also Jeff Green had that memorable game 5 against the Bucks going crazy from downtown. 7 for 8 on threes for a total of 29 points.
And lastly the most fresh is Kevin Huerter’s hero game 7 where he kept the Hawks alive until the 4th quarter with his 27 points and ultimately helped get Atlanta in the conference finals.
Hopefully you liked this video. Let me know if I should also make one about the biggest disappointments of the playoffs. And trust me, there are quite a few candidates. That’s it for now, subscribe and talk to you in the next one. Peace out.
22 Ιούν 2021