Ranking the Top Performers in the First Round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs

Ranking the Top Performers in the First Round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs image

📖 Published on: May 7th, 2024

✍️ Updated: May 8th, 2024

⏳ 9 mins read


The First Round of the NBA Playoffs has been a rollercoaster ride, and it cannot be denied that some of the big games have been thanks to the elite performers on different teams, showing that the Playoffs are indeed a different beast for fans to look out for. But who has been the standout players that are taking over the postseason stage this year?


How Did the First Round of the NBA Playoffs Go?


If there’s one thing right about the NBA’s taglines, the Playoffs are indeed “Where Amazing Happens”. In just the First Round, there have been a lot of fantastic finishes, massive scoring rallies, and top-notch clutch plays from the best players in the playoffs. This just shows how promising the games can be in the postseason, let alone in the first round.


Jamal Murray drilled two game-winners against the Lakers image


Most of the time, there are plenty of upsets and stunning defeats in the First Round. The story of the season translates to a much more different twists and turns for different teams. The Playoffs is a stage where the veterans are tested, and the young teams are molded into elite squads capable of making a deep run and shocking the critics. This is why you should definitely not miss the chance to watch the intense playoff action that will bring you to the edge of your seat!


Playoff Mode: Who are the Top Performers in the First Round?


As said before, the Playoffs can be too much for many teams in the NBA. It is also a time when clutch performers in the regular season are tested – to see if they can bring the same massive performance that they are showing off with. While there perennial MVP performers are expected to step up and lead their respective teams to success, it cannot be denied that there are many other playoff risers in the game who have done a great job to help their squad come up with a massive victory.


Here are some of the top performers in the First Round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs:


Aaron Gordon


Aaron Gordon image

While there’s Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Anthony Davis taking the big highlights of the series, it cannot be denied that Aaron Gordon has been a beast in the Denver Nuggets’ series with the Los Angeles Lakers. He has been an instrumental piece in the team’s 2023 NBA Finals victory, and he is showing that he still has that killer instinct with his ever-efficient game, which just shows how flexible he is in playing behind Jokic and Murray. Perhaps his biggest game in the first round was in Game 3, where he led the Nuggets to grab a 3-0 series lead with 29 points and 15 rebounds while shooting 12 of his 18 attempts in the game. That sealed the deal for the Nuggets as it led them to come up with their 12th straight win against the Lakers and eliminated them for good.


Chet Holmgren


OKC’s debut in the 2024 NBA Playoffs proved to be a promising start of a new era in the Thunder. It was the rookie center Chet Holmgren who proved to be a massive factor in their series against the New Orleans Pelicans – which was also their opponent in the 2023 Play-In Tournament. Holmgren may not be a scoring galore to watch, but he was the biggest reason why OKC won on the defensive end, alongside Luguentz Dort. The big man rookie is the leading shot-blocker in the NBA Playoffs this year, and that says a lot about his versatility and the impact he has made on the Thunder’s sweep against the Pelicans – the first that the team had since 2012.

Chet Holmgren image


Many said that he is too skinny to be juggling against the bigs of the Pelicans, but he waved the waters and proved all of his critics wrong with consistent performances. The last time OKC had swept an entire series? They made it to the NBA Finals.


Luguentz Dort


Luguentz Dort image

It is easy to overlook Dort’s impact on OKC’s success in the first round considering that they have played a balanced team game in all four games. However, locking down Brandon Ingram in all four games proved to be a pivotal twist for OKC, all thanks to Lu Dort. The last time the Canadian guard played in a playoff series, he locked down James Harden in a seven-game affair with the Houston Rockets in 2020. Dort averaged 11.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in the series, all while shooting 46.7% from the field and 52.2% from deep - showing how his stellar two-way performances have become a big factor in OKC's success.


While his steals and blocks are nowhere to be seen, stats don’t tell all the story as Ingram was held to 34.5% shooting and 25% from deep, impacting the Pelicans’ chances in their series with the Thunder. Overall, he even deserves to be the MVP of that series with the defensive load that he has taken on.


Naz Reid


The reigning Sixth Man of the Year is definitely deserving of his award. Naz Reid may have averaged 10.8 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game, but he has been instrumental in their sweep against the Phoenix Suns, taking on the assignment of defending Kevin Durant, which has definitely made a massive impact as one of the game’s best scorers failed to finish the series with a single win. Reid’s presence in the rotation has allowed the Wolves to give Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert some rest time by taking over some of their minutes, which helps a lot in giving them a massive boost in the key minutes, especially in closeouts.

Naz Reid image


Josh Hart


Josh Hart image

They said that the New York Knicks won their series against the Philadelphia 76ers with the power of friendship, and on top of that is Jalen Brunson, but it is easy to overlook how Josh Hart has been a promising star in this series. Hart averaged 16.8 points, 12.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists in that series, all while shooting 40.5% from the field. His impressive rebounding has helped the Knicks win some crucial boards, and his ability to knock down the three has given them wider spacing – negating the size advantage that the Sixers had on them to begin with. This just shows how Hart has been special for the Knicks, giving them the size they need to crash the glass even with Julius Randle out with an injury.


Derrick White


While the Miami Heat snuck up a single win in this series, the Boston Celtics have to be thankful for having a promising talent in Derrick White. For those who have turned a blind eye in the Celtics, White averaged 22.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in the series, even dropping a 38-point game on 15-26 shooting, including 8 threes in a road win. He has been efficient in the series, and perhaps the only big factor why the Celtics are cruising to the second round now more than ever. With Porzingis injured and out until the Conference Finals – should they make it that far, White should definitely play a huge role for their chances of winning.

Derrick White image


What to Expect in the Second Round of the NBA Playoffs?


The second round of the NBA Playoffs is already underway, and there are a lot of interesting matchups that will bring you to the edge of your seat. The Minnesota Timberwolves is already waging war against the Denver Nuggets in the West Semis, while the Oklahoma City Thunder is bringing a massive MVP showdown against the Dallas Mavericks. The East isn’t far behind, with a rivalry renewed between the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks, while the Boston Celtics are also slated to take on a familiar foe in the Orlando Magic.


Make sure to stay tuned on the latest happenings in the NBA Playoffs and the rest of the sports world! With GambleSpot, you can be sure that you are up to date with the biggest stories in sports! Read the hottest news, blogs, game analyses, tournament previews, predictions, betting guides, and many other sports-related content that can give you an edge in your wagers!

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