Time to don your lucky NBA shirt, cap or other lucky charm in support of your team - the NBA Playoffs 2021 is quickly coming to a head!
The emergence of NBA super teams has once again made the outcome of the season unpredictable. With the Nets recently acquiring James Harden, Blake Griffin and Lamarcus Aldridge as key additions to their existing superstars — Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
While the Lakers have signed two-time All Star center Andre Drummond, in addition to Lebron James and Anthony Davis. Both the Lakers and the Nets are the current favorites to take their respective conferences and go head to head in this year's Finals.
A handful of teams have displayed surprising performances this season which lead them up to the league standings.
The Utah Jazz has ended the season with the best record in the league after taking the Number 1 spot way back in February. While the Phoenix Suns (2nd in the West) and the New York Knicks (4th in the East) are having themselves a remarkable season, with both teams ending their Playoff drought after missing the postseason for nearly a decade.
The Rookie of the Year race has come down to a toss up between Lamelo Ball of the Charlotte Hornets and Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves. As of writing, Lamelo Ball has claimed the No. 1 spot on the KIA Rookie Ladder. He was considered as the runaway favorite back in March, however, things took a turn as he missed 21 games due to a fractured wrist.
Since then, Anthony Edwards has really ramped up his performance and has consistently strengthened his case in the debate for Rookie of the Year. For the second half of the season, Edwards increased his averages to 19.3ppg, 4.7rpg, and 4.3apg, while also posting a career high of 42pts twice against the Phoenix Suns and the Memphis Grizzlies.
Lamelo Ball finished the season averiging 15.7ppg, 5.9rpg, and 6.1apg. He led the rookies in assists and steals, while topping Edwards in rebounds, field goal percentage and net rating.
With both players’ teams eliminated from Playoff contention, it will be interesting to see how the Rookie of the Year race will pan out.
The Utah Jazz and Philadelphia 76ers are showing fans that teamwork and grind has the capability to top super teams. A surprise this season is Jordan Clarkson of the Utah Jazz. The Filipino-American ended the regular season averaging 18.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists. He is also the crowd favorite for this year’s 6th Man of the Year Award, which has put him and Utah Jazz Forward Joe Ingles in a very unique situation as teammates, wherein they are both simultaneously two of the best 6th men in the NBA, together with Derrick Rose of the New York Knicks competing as finalists for the award.
The league has named the 3 finalists currently in the race for the 2020-2021 MVP Award. These are Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets, Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, and Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors.
Nikola Jokic seems to be the favorite to win the award ending the season averaging a career-high 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game. Jokic is also the only All-Star that managed to play in all 72 games of the regular season without missing a single game.
Joel Embiid has also been as dominant finishing with 28.5ppg and 10.6rpg, while leading the Sixers to claim the best record in the East. However, Embiid suffered from a knee injury that caused him to only appear in 51 games in the regular season.
Steph Curry is this year’s dark horse in the MVP race coming from a 9-game push wherein he averaged 41.3pts on 55.6% shooting. His outstanding performance late in the season has helped secure his team a spot in the Play-in, win his 2nd NBA Scoring Title, and has included the 3-time champion in MVP conversations.
Lakers fan? Perhaps it’s high-time to bring out your lucky Lakers shirt and Lakers snapback to support them! With the Lakers recently securing the 7th seed in the West after a neck and neck Play-in game against the Warriors, the LA Lakers are just about ready to be in Playoff mode and are gearing up to run it back to back. However, they have themselves a formidable contender in the East, with the recent acquisitions of the Brooklyn Nets. It has been difficult to gauge both teams this season since they have both been plagued with injuries. With KD, Kyrie and James Harden being in and out of the lineup, the trio has been complete in only 8 games in the regular season. It will be interesting to see who will come out on top this season.
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New Era NBA Caps
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New Era NBA Apparels
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