Next generation of NBA stars lighting up the postseason

May 1, 2024
With two decades of dominance possibly in the rearview mirror, here’s a refresher on a few of the next gen hoopers lighting up the postseason.
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Next generation of NBA stars lighting up the postseason
Source: Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The GIST: For the first time since 2005, the second round of the playoffs does not feature LeBron James, Steph Curry or Kevin Durant. With two decades of dominance possibly in the rearview mirror, here’s a refresher on a few of the next gen hoopers lighting up the postseason. Consider the torch passed.

Eastern Conference (EC): Despite enormous efforts from their respective All-Stars Jalen Brunson and Tyrese Haliburton last night, the NY Knicks and Indiana Pacers are both still one win away from advancing to the EC semis. But even when their squads fall short, these two shine.

  • Through his three-point prowess and silky smooth assists, Brunson has transformed the Knicks into a bona fide title contender after a 51-year championship drought, while, thanks in part to fashion icon Haliburton, the Pacers are on their first playoff run since 2020.
  • Elsewhere, the Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum is gearing up for tonight’s 7:30 p.m. ET Game 5 against the Miami Heat and needs just one win to clinch his sixth conference semis berth in seven seasons. Dads do it better.

Western Conference (WC): With the aforementioned James’ status as an LA Laker apparently up in the air, the king of the WC is the defending champion Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokić — the 2023 NBA Finals MVP and undisputed triple-double legend.

  • Another player electrifying social media this postseason? The Minnesota Timberwolves’ Anthony Edwards, whose slam dunks and smack talk are winning hearts and drawing serious eyes. A star on the rise.