The Conference Semifinals are already underway, which means there’s just a handful of teams that still have the chance to compete for a spot in this upcoming NBA Finals and win the Championship.
Notably, most of those teams have been led by team efforts, but still, it looks like there have been some players that have played their hearts out since the start of the playoffs, and just keep getting better and better.
Obviously, there are players whose characters drive them and push them forward when it matters the most, and today, we’re going to let you know about the 5 stars that have really stepped up in the playoffs.
5. Enes Kanter
Enes Kanter has really stepped up for the Portland Trail Blazers, as he was brought in to be Jusuf Nurkic’s backup, but has excelled ever since the Bosnian center fell down with a gruesome injury.
He was clearly on a mission to prove the Oklahoma City Thunder wrong, and he completely owned his beloved friend Steven Adams in the offensive end. So far, he’s averaging 15.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game on 62% from the floor.
4. Pascal Siakam
Pascal Siakam is a lock to win this year’s Most Improved Player Award. He went from being a complete non-factor to becoming the Toronto Raptors’ heart and soul in both ends of the hardwood right now.
Obviously, Kawhi Leonard’s the best player on the team, but Siakam’s arguably their most versatile defender, and he’s made great strides in the offensive end as well. He’s averaging 23.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.7 steals. 0.7 blocks, and 1.9 three-pointers on 53/39/75 shooting.
3. Kyrie Irving
The Boston Celtics are trending up at the right time, with Gordon Hayward at the best we’ve seen him since joining the team, but it has been Kyrie Irving the main responsible for really driving this team in the offensive end.
Kyrie finally stepped up as a leader and a playmaker and is really making his teammates better with his ability to create. So far, he’s averaging 23.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 8.4 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.6 three-pointers on 45/41/88 from the floor and the Celtics are 5-1 in the playoff.
2. Damian Lillard
It’s clear that Damian Lillard took Russell Westbrook’s comments really personal and he was determined to prove him wrong and demonstrate that he’s one of the most talented players in the world, and so far, he’s succeeded.
Lillard has been a major beast for the Blazers so far, even clamping Westbrook on defense despite not being much of a defender. Also, he’s been a stud in the offensive end as well, averaging 34.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 2.2 steals, and 5.0 three-pointers on 47/45/84 shooting.
1. Kevin Durant
And finally, Kevin Durant has been the best player in the playoffs so far, and it’s not even close. Following a couple of subpar efforts thanks to Patrick Beverley’s suffocating defense, Durant has really turned the corner and is proving why he’s the top free agent of the summer.
Durant is torching opposing defenders with averages of 35.0 points (league-leading), 5.3 rebounds 5.0 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.1 blocks, and 2.7 three-pointers on 54/39/91, and is on pace to win yet another Finals MVP if he can keep this up throughout the playoffs and lead the Warriors past the Rockets.