As it was expected, these Playoffs series are giving us some surprises. The revelation of the Atlanta Hawks, the knock out by LeBron´s Lakers… But, overall, this season is showing us the new trends from the best basketball league in the world. The NBA is changing.
Centers are on trend:
Nikola Jokic´s MVP proves that the three-point shooter profile is getting more unnoticed due to arise of tall players. We just have to take a lokk at the other to candidates for the award: Joel Embiid and Stephen Curry.
‘The Joker’ has averaged 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game. These numbers show the great momentum that the Denver Nuggets´ player is going through, as he has played every game this season. We must point out that he was drafted as the 41st pick back in 2014, which makes him the MVP with the highest draft pick number of all times.
The Serbian becomes the first center to win the Most Valuable Player of the Season since 2000, when the mythical Shaquille O’Neal was awarded. He is the sixth foreign player to earn this prize. The other five were Giannis Antetokounmpo, Hakeem Olajuwon, Steve Nash, Tim Duncan y Dirk Nowitzki.
End of the LeBron and Curry´s hegemony in the NBA:
This will be the first season in ten years without LeBron or Curry being in the NBA finals. Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics took on each other the last time this happened. The franchise from California, led by Kobe Bryant and guarded by Pau Gasol, won those finals. Then it came the four finals in a row by the Miami Heat, the four consecutive ones by the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the 2019 edition that faced off Curry against the Toronto Raptors and the 2020 where LeBron played against his old team.
Five teams out of the eight remaining in the Playoffs have never won a ring:
This is the magic of the NBA. Five out of the eight teams left in the Playoffs have never won a ring. These are: Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets. And the other three who have conquered the Larry O’Brien trophy have been a lot of years without repeating that achievement: Philadelphia 76ers (1983), Milwaukee Bucks (1971) y Atlanta Hawks 1958).
This fact reveals the current status that historical franchises like the Boston Celtics or the Chicago Bulls are experiencing. They do not count on the expected level and everything is possible in the NBA. Which team will win the ring? Will it be the Nets´ first or will we see a surprise?
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.