Look at anything very closely and you may fail to see the big picture.
This is the case for this season’s NBA playoffs, with 36-year-old Lebron James still firmly in the headlines, while other stars over the age of 30, such as Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and James Harden, also play a leading role. . Role. But zoom out and you’ll see a new generation of superstars looking ready and willing to handle the league, using this post season as their upcoming party.
Now that they are finally here, it is worth giving them some time to appreciate them and their early success, as changing the guard is not only inevitable, it is long overdue.
Enter Devin Booker (age 24), Deandre Ayton (22), Ja Morant (21), Trey Young (22), and RJ Barrett (22), who made their debut in the playoffs last week. Enter Luca Donsik (22) and Donovan Mitchell (24), both of whom can take their teams ahead of the first round. And behind them, still hoping to get a taste of the playoffs next season, are Lamello Ball (19), D’Arone Fox (23) and the NBA’s newest posterboy, Zion Williamson (20).
The new generation is here, they are fun, and most importantly, they are ready for their moment. He proved as much in the first week of the playoffs, translating his game into the postseason so effortlessly that you’d think they were here for years.
Booker and Ayton made it clear in their first playoff game – the first Phoenix Suns playoff game since 2010 – when they scored a 99-90 win over James’ Los Angeles Lakers for 55 points, 23 rebounds and eight assists. Booker, in particular, looked like a player who has been preparing for the playoffs since entering the league in 2015, using his tight handle and smooth jumper continuously. Create for yourself, Eventually forcing the Lakers to double-team him, where he looked like a seasoned veteran showing patience and finding open teammates.
The Memphis Grizzlies’ Morant made his mark in a do or die game against Steph Curry’s Golden State Warriors, which dropped 35 points and one Floater fought after a spin move With only 4.5 seconds left in overtime to win 117–12 and secure a spot in the playoffs. Morant’s favorite time to handle the game is towards the end, using his speed to reach the rim and bounce to suspend himself in the air for long periods of time as his body takes a layup or last-second pass. Leaves for. Defense estimate.
Morant will face Mitchell of Utah in the first round. He had already proved the final playoff by averaging 36 points in a seven-game loss to the Denver Nuggets in the first round, but it was the season that saw himself in the game by rounding out his game and leading the league’s best regulars Established as a legitimate offensive star. Scoring included season teams (26.4 points per game), taking more three-pointers (8.7 per game), and using his shot threat to get inside the arc to look clean, with his 6-foot 10-inch wingspan and Standing 36.5 inches vertically help him get over.
This class of playoff newbies is also representative of the NBA’s international identity, which includes 107 international players from 41 countries in this season’s opening-night roster.
Barrett of Canada, despite being on the other side of the winner of the game against Trae Young against the New York Knicks in Game 1 of their playoff fight, did not look out of place. His combination of size, strength and finishing ability is rare for a player at his age, giving the Knicks a much-needed wing-defender and slasher who can finish through contact.
Ayton, meanwhile, is only the The seventh Bahamian to play in the NBA. The seven-footer has been a steady presence for the Suns, despite fighting two potential Hall-of-Famers in the Lakers frontcourt, Anthony Davis and Mark Gasol, using coral passes and floaters and sky hooks to finish . Size and strength for grabbing rebounds and eliminating through contact.
Slovenian Luka Donsik, who is likely to receive MVP votes for his game during the regular season, looks like the best player in a series that includes two established superstars in Qui Leonard and Paul George. Donsick won the road both 31-10-11 in Game 1 and 39-7-7 in Game 2, controlling the tempo with his elite dribble-package and ability to read the floor, taking younger defenders to the post Mismatch directed. And the big defenders were out for the three-point line.
Of all the players mentioned, Donsick is the toughest to defend and the most likely to dominate the league in the coming years. He adds the ability to hit every shot in the book Amazing ability to find your peers From all kinds of angles.
All these young players have one thing in common and that is to be smart. Contrary to popular narrative, which most young players derive from their speed and athleticism, this group has an advanced Feel for the game, Reading the floor efficiently and executing those reeds using their shot-making and playmaking chops. While they can’t control the pace or read the floor at the level of James or Paul – very few in basketball history – they are advanced game-managers, especially when you consider their relative lack of NBA experience Huh.
Maybe it’s because they grew up playing AAU basketball, getting thousands of reps before playing in the NBA, or maybe it’s that they benefited from better coaching than cigarette smoking days in halftime. Regardless, the group has made a spontaneous change in playoff basketball as they exceed their speed and athleticism. And because they are capable of generating profits through their SMART at such a young age, there is no reason why they should slow down any time soon.
In fact, it is possible that this generation of superstars will dominate the league for longer than its predecessors. While it is hard to imagine that someone’s career is as long and distinguished as James’s, sports science and medicine continue to advance athletes, and it is likely that these players will sustain their success in the long run.
However, it is worth taking some time to appreciate what these young players are doing right now. Zoom out slightly and you will see that these playoffs are not defined by the old guard. Instead, it is the playoffs that take a new generation. And what a fun and exciting player they are.