WHATEVER happens in the NBA bubble and whoever goes on to win the chip, we have already seen the rise of the young guns—not as the future of the league, but as its present.
Sure, Lebron James is still dominant , but that’s why he is the greatest player of his generation.
Remember too, that he is ably backed by a 27-year-old Anthony Davis who is actually the best player on the Los Angeles Lakers team, statistics-wise.
Davis does most of the heavy lifting, while James provides the leadership and the on-court generalship.
EAST. Over at the East, Jayson Tatum is now on the cusp of being one of the league’s superstars.
While his team the Boston Celtics trails the Miami Heat 3-2, Tatum has demonstrated that he is their go-to guy and can be relied upon to come up big when needed.
He still hasn’t shown he can take over games consistently and singlehandedly will his team to victory—the true hallmark of a superstar, but he’s getting there.
But remember, he’s only 22.
The Miami Heat are led by Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic but ably complementing their veteran play are Bam Adebayo, a 23-year-old in only his 3rd season; Duncan Robinson, 26-year-old in only his second season; and, Tyler Herro-a rookie sensation.
Adebayo has already shown his talent and potential the past two seasons, but Robinson and Herro are the true revelations this year.
Robinson is a three-point specialist who shoots a whopping 44% from the that range and has tied the Heat record for most 3-pointers made in a playoff game
Herro has had a meteoric rise this season, and describes himself as a walking bucket. He’s the youngest (at 20 years of age) to score at least 37 points in a playoff game.
NUGGETS. In Denver, Jamal Murray is making a name for himself as a legendary shooter in the level of a Stephen Curry.
Murray has recorded 6 games in the playoffs with at least 30 points on a field goal percentage of at least 60%. The only other player to do that in a post-season was Curry who did it in seven games. If Denver survives to play on, he could be in a position to top that.
He has consistently stepped up in big moments for his team and is currently averaging 26.9 points in 18 playoff games. Not too bad for a 23-year-old.
His teammate Michael Porter Jr. is also another potential star on the rise. He’s a rookie who is not afraid to take the big shot. He’s only 22 years of age.
STARS. If you notice, some of the resident stars in the league such as Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Damian Lillard and Paul George- who are all a tier below James, have come up short in these playoffs.
The afore-mentioned young turks have been strutting their stuff. Add Luka Doncic to the mix- who at age 21 is already in the MVP conversation, and you will have to agree that these young studs believe their time is not coming- it has already arrived.
A couple of tweaks here and there, a few polishes to their games, some key ingredients added to their respective teams and you will see that the changing of the guard will have arrived sooner than expected.
LAST ROUNDS. Are on a dear buddy, Atty. Mark Antonio and Jinky Cabrillos-Falcis who celebrate their birthdays this week. Cheers!