Indiana Basketball have been busy in the NBA Playoffs
Fortunately for Indiana Basketball fans, three of the four Hoosier in the NBA playoffs play on the same day in the first round. Juwan Morgan and the Jazz are in a very competitive 1-1 series that is likely to go seven games. Romeo Langford may be in line to play a lot more minutes in lieu of Gordon Hayward sustaining an ankle injury. OG Anunoby is starting on a Raptors team that looks poised to make a run at the championship. Victor Oladipo and the Pacers play on a different day, but their series against the Heat is compelling as well.
With all these different Hoosiers in action, it can be time-consuming to look at how each one did. So I decided to compile a list of how each player has done game by game and will update it every few days. Here is how everyone did in their first playoff games of 2020.
I wrote a whole article on Morgan’s performance already, so I’ll keep it brief. Jazz point guard Mike Conley announced he’d be leaving the NBA bubble to be present for the birth of his child, leaving a hole in the starting lineup. This spot was filled by Juwan Morgan, who had only played 134 minutes for the Jazz on the season.
The fact that coach Quin Snyder trusted Morgan enough to start in the playoffs after that little experience is remarkable. Morgan capitalized on his unprecedented opportunity by recording seven rebounds, three points, and a plus/minus of +17, by far the best mark on his team (Georges Niang was second at +3). Even though his stats won’t blow anyone away, he made winning plays and played 25 quality minutes in an overtime loss.
Final Stats: 3 points, 7 rebounds, +17 +/- — UTA 125, DEN 135
Anunoby played 36 minutes and tallied 12 points and five rebounds in a triumphant win for the Raptors. The Nets have an extremely depleted roster and will likely get swept by Toronto.
Toronto is firing on all cylinders and is coasting through the first round so far. Anunoby is the most important IU player in the NBA playoffs due to his role on his team. He’ll never make a huge splash statistically, but his defense is always superb.
Final Stats: 12 points, 5 rebounds, +18 +/-. — TOR 134, BRK 110.
Langford played under one minute in garbage time and didn’t record a single stat. However, starting forward Gordon Hayward injured his ankle and will be out for four weeks. Langford may very well be in line for some more minutes down the road.
BOS 109, PHI 101
Oladipo had his first game without a minutes restriction since his severe quadriceps injury a year ago. This excitement was quickly dampened after nine minutes when the former IU star was inadvertently poked in the eye by Heat forward Jae Crowder and wouldn’t return. He ultimately finished with four points and a steal in a loss. However, he is likely returning for game two. Hopefully, he’ll be able to stay in the game because his team surely needs him.