It’s been a strange year and it’s going to be one of the most talked-about NBA postseasons we’ve ever witnessed. Injuries, highlights, record-breaking stats, and the pandemic are going to stay in our heads for a long time. There isn’t a more challenging job in team sports than that of a “non-all star” player. It’s the league’s stars that get all the attention in the playoffs. The postseason gives players the perfect stage for them to showcase their value and some can even use this moment as a stepping stone to a better career path. Here are five players who have improved their stock and can probably breathe a little bit better knowing that their performances will make it easier for them to get their next contract.
Reggie Jackson, Los Angeles Clippers
Jackson became the blessing in disguise after Kawhi Leonard’s injury. His postseason play in the second and third rounds of the playoffs saved his career for sure. Jackson gained respect from players and fans. His career was probably going downhill before joining the Clippers. That is no longer the case now. Other teams will be going after him.
Dillon Brooks, Memphis Grizzlies
Brooks took advantage of the opportunity he got when defenders were busy focusing on teammate Ja Morant. The result was an improved performance in the postseason. The play-in tournament and first round of the playoffs were filled with highlights from Brooks. Even his post-game interviews were entertaining. He will surely be on the players to watch list for next season.
Seth Curry, Philadelphia 76ers
The other Curry was amazing during this year’s playoffs. Shooting percentages went up compared to the regular season. This is impressive considering that he usually does his scoring from outside the paint for the 76ers. They were eliminated in the second round but fans already know that Curry will play a big part in the team’s future.
Bogdan Bogdanovic, Atlanta Hawks
Bogdanovic was clearly the second-best player for the Hawks during the playoffs and he was able to prove his worth. He had multiple 20-point games and could easily help the team when it comes to getting threes, steals, rebounds, and assists. There were stories about how the Milwaukee Bucks wanted Bogdanovic before the season began and now everyone knows why.
Daniel Gafford, Washington Wizards
Remember when the Wizards had a late-season push for the playoffs? Everyone just thought that it was Russell Westbrook and his triple-doubles that made that run possible. They were right but Gafford’s presence in the middle made a difference too. Wizards had a winning record ever since he joined the team. In two play-in tournament games, Gafford had seven blocks. In the first round of the playoffs, he was a monster rebounding, blocking shots, and shooting a high percentage from the field.
These are just some of the players who stepped up their level of play in the past several weeks. Let’s hope they can maintain it moving forward. Next up for NBA fans are the Tokyo Olympics, NBA Draft, and NBA free agency.
Follow Joey Almendras on Twitter @Buyaw
Main Image Credit:
From Google Images