37.4 points, 11.6 rebounds, 10.8 assists, 2.4 steals
Through the five games that he played in the playoffs, Russell Westbrook did everything he could to advance to the next round, but sadly averaging a triple double, a 47-point game, and a 51-point game was not enough to lead the Thunder to the next round. Russell Westbrook’s stat line proves that he need help from his teammates. Westbrook’s shooting woes continued in the playoffs, as this may have contributed to the Thunder’s downfall.
28.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 8.5 assists, 1.9 steals
James Harden boosted his MVP status with fans after his Houston Rockets made quick work of Russell Westbrook’s Oklahoma City Thunder. The Rockets were surging until they were dominated by the San Antonio Spurs in six games in the second round. Fans and sports analyst blamed James Harden for this due to his disappointing performances in both game five and six.
24.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4 rebounds, 2.2 steals, 1.7 blocks
Giannis has been climbing the ranks of superstardom in the NBA for about two years. The playoff run that the Bucks had showed the whole world that Giannis is the next NBA superstar. Giannis has a rare ability to make his team better on both sides of the ball. It is clear that Giannis has showed up, and now, he needs his team to do the same.
7. Paul George– Indiana Pacers
28 points, 8.8 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.8 steals
Despite a first-round exit, Paul George competed at a high level for four games. There is a lot of questions surrounding Paul George. Many think he will leave the team, and the fact that he led the Pacers to the playoffs, helped his value rise, but the Pacers remain unwilling to part ways with their superstar.
23.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 6.7 assists, 0.9 steals
Not only did Thomas lead the Celtics to the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, but he led them directly to the Eastern Conference Finals as well. Isaiah Thomas also went through a tragedy early this postseason. When Thomas’s sister Chyna Thomas suddenly passed away due to a car crash, Isaiah Thomas was hit with a ton of bricks. With that being said, the emotional Thomas had a terrific postseason performance and is poised to do the same in the future.
27.2 points, .7 rebounds, 10.3 assists, 1.7 steals
John Wall was playing out of his mind in the playoffs. Two weeks after he was eliminated from the playoffs, Wall still led the league in playoff assists. John Wall seemed to be a man on a mission this year and although his Washington Wizards were eliminated in seven games by the Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals, John Wall’s play may have been enough to lure a star free agent to come to the nation’s capital in the coming years.
4. Kawhi Leonard- San Antonio Spurs
27.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.7 steals
It has been 21 seasons since the San Antonio Spurs have been to the playoffs without Tim Duncan. With that being said, this put pressure on the Spurs, but mostly on NBA superstar Kawhi Leonard. Kawhi put the Spurs on his back and led them all the way to the Western Conference Finals. He was doing particularly well until he was injured on a dirty play by Golden State Warriors center, Zaza Pachulia, which left fans wondering what could’ve been for the Spurs.
3. Stephen Curry- Golden State Warriors
28.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 6.7 assists, 2 steals
After dealing with critics spouting on whether or not Steph Curry was as good as we thought he was, or was he a scoring point guard that “is not clutch,” Steph exploded in the playoffs. Although he had to step back a little, Curry became the leader of the Golden State Warriors throughout their historic playoff run. Also, Curry shook off his finals woes by nearly averaging a triple double.
32.8 points, 9.1 rebounds, 7.8 assists, 1.9 steals
The King lived up to his name throughout the playoffs by having a fantastic playoff run which was capped off by becoming the first to ever average a triple-double in the finals. Not only did LeBron average 32.8 points per game, but he did on 57% from the field. In the end, LeBron did not win the championship, but he did show that he is still the greatest player in the NBA by putting up GOAT-like numbers.
28.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.3 blocks
Kevin Durant completed his quest by winning his first NBA championship; not only did he do that, but he won finals MVP. Kevin Durant joined the Warriors to go to the Finals. He got close before, but he could never get over the hump, which led to critics start debating on whether or not Kevin was a clutch player. This year, he ended those doubts with his incredible play throughout the playoffs. Despite the hate, Durant was able to go from the superstar who couldn’t quite get there to possibly in the conversation of best player in the league, and that is what pushed Durant into the one-spot and the into NBA history.