With round one of the NBA playoffs coming to a close, three players have made their names in this Orlando bubble through some incredible offensive performances: Donovan Mitchell, Damian Lillard, and Luka Doncic.
Mitchell and the Utah Jazz came into the bubble as a strong defensive team fighting for the number six seed in the Western Conference. Donovan Mitchell was key in their success.
The third-year pro currently leads scoring in the bubble with 37.6 ppg, better scoring numbers than NBA superstars Kahwi Leonard, James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Mitchell has also increased his three-point percentage dramatically, improving from averaging 36% during the regular season, to 52% in the playoffs. His points per game has jumped from 24 ppg during the regular season to 37 during the playoffs.
Mitchell has improved in nearly every statistical category, leading his team throughout a fierce playoff battle against the Denver Nuggets. Mitchellu's impressive numbers have come after Utah Jazz small forward Bojan Bogdanovic was ruled out of the season with an injury to his left wrist that requires season-ending surgery.
Lillard almost single-handedly orchestrated his team to the playoffs with an impressive showing during the final regular season games of the 2019-2020 season, averaging 44 points and nine assists through those five games.The Trailblazers then faced the LA Lakers for the first round of the tournament and the dominant play of the Lakers as well as an injury in game four cooled off the high-octane star.
Playoff woes aside, Lillard still had a historic final five games. Not only did Lillard blow his season average for points out of the water, but he shot at an incredible clip; scoring 55% of his shots from the field and 48% from beyond the arc.
Lillardu's most impressive performance came in a career-high 61 point game against the Dallas Mavericks that pushed the Trailblazers into the 8th seed of the playoffs.
This player has been talked about as the future of the NBA at every turn, and he finally showed his true colors in his first playoff series against the second-seeded LA Clippers.
The biggest moment in the series would be Doncicu's step-back three to win the game and to tie the series at two wins for both teams. Doncic has put up big numbers in the points column, averaging 30 ppg in the playoffs and shooting 45% from the field.
Doncic's offensive weakness lies in his three point shooting. In the first five games of the series, his three-pointers made are as follows: two, four, one, four and one. He is a gifted shooter and scorer, but he is far from consistent from beyond the arc. Doncic and Dallasu fortunes may have been different if star forward Kristaps Porzingas didn’t have to exit the series early due to a torn meniscus in his right knee in game one of the series.