With the first round of the NBA playoffs in the books, it is clear some players have seen a perception shift in the eyes of fans. A few of these have been bad, such as the criticism Giannis Antetokounmpo is facing for his inability to meaningfully challenge the Brooklyn Nets to this point.
Some players have once again shown that they are who we thought they are too, with Joel Embiid‘s WWE antics very on-brand for an individual who seems to revel in winding opponents and their fanbases up at every opportunity.
Then there are those who, to this point at least, have seen their standing in the league rise for all of the right reasons. One series isn’t a long amount of time to put the league on notice, and a lot can change from here on out, but these players have done their best to stand out amongst some amazing individual performances.
We are only one round through the NBA playoffs, but already these three players have enhanced their reputations among fans with their performances.
Two players unlucky to miss out on this list are Damian Lillard and Devin Booker. Lillard’s exploits for the Portland Trail Blazers were once again outrageous, but it was not enough to beat the Denver Nuggets in the first round. He is an all-world talent, and with head coach Terry Stotts now departed, it will be interesting to see what happens next for player and team.
Booker has taken his first foray into the postseason in stride, looking completely at home battling against LeBron James and Anthony Davis en route to beating the Los Angeles Lakers. Casual fans are witnessing a superb talent, but real ones have known for a while. By season’s end he may have made us look silly for not making it, but here are three players that couldn’t be ignored.