Nikola Jokic celebrates his newly won Larry O’Brien Trophy. The Serbian through the playoffs averaging 30 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 9.5 assists. It was one of the most dominant runs by an NBA player as he continued to make jaw-dropping NBA news. If the NBA made an All-Star Team to commemorate the postseason’s best players, he’d be a shoe-in. That said, Jokic wasn’t the only playoff star.
The All-Star Starters
- G Jamal Murray (DEN)
- G Devin Booker (PHX)
- F Jimmy Butler (MIA)
- F Jayson Tatum (BOS)
- C Nikola Jokic (DEN)
Jokic is the easiest choice here as he was by far the best player in the postseason. But not too far behind is his running mate: Jamal Murray. The Canadian also had himself a postseason as he averaged 26.1 points, 7.1 assists, and 5.7 rebounds while shooting 47.3% from the field.
Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray are the 1st pair of teammates in NBA history to each average 25+ PPG, 5+ RPG and 5+ APG for an entire postseason. pic.twitter.com/kjVJgKPL1U
— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) June 13, 2023
Joining Murray and Jokic in the top five are Jimmy Butler, Jayson Tatum, and Devin Booker. Butler popularized the term “Playoff Jimmy” due to his penchant for carrying his Miami Heat in the postseason.
He cooled off the further the playoffs went but still averaged 26.7 points on 46.8% shooting. The Heat also finished as the best team to bet online with a 65.2% cover rate.
Tatum and Booker also had impressive playoff runs albeit coming short. The former averaged a double-double with 27.2 points and 10.5 rebounds. He also stuffed the stat sheet with 5.3 assists and a combined 2.2 steals and blocks for Boston. The latter led Phoenix and the playoffs with 33.7 points on 58.5% shooting (50.8% from 3!).
Had Phoenix not met Denver in the playoffs, it would have been the NBA pick to win it all.
The All-Star Reserves
- G Jalen Brunson (NYK)
- G Anthony Edwards (MIN)
- G Stephen Curry (GSW)
- F Kevin Durant (PHX)
- F Jaylen Brown (BOS)
- F Anthony Davis (LAL)
- C Bam Adebayo (MIA)
Other stars put up admirable performances in losing efforts. Bam Adebayo also had a quiet but solid NBA Finals. He led the Heat in scoring, rebounding, and field goal percentage Alas, he couldn’t overcome Jokic’s Nuggets. But this was enough to earn him a spot on the All-Star team.
Kevin Durant and Jaylen Brown also join their Suns and Celtics teammates, respectively. The former MVP averaged 29 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 5.5 assists. He also posted five double-doubles. Brown faded in the Celtics-Heat series. But overall, he averaged 22.7 points while shooting 49.6%.
The Lakers and Warriors, two recent NBA champions, also fell short. But Anthony Davis and Stephen Curry did all they could. Davis scored 22.6 points per game along with a playoffs-leading 14.1 rebounds and 3.1 blocks. Curry, on the other hand, was one of four who averaged 30 points a game (30.5). He also dished 6.1 assists per game.
Anthony Edwards of Minnesota and Jalen Brunson of New York round out the remainder of the roster.
“Antman” could not get his Wolves to buck the NBA predictions, but not for a lack of trying. The All-Star put up 31.6 points on 48.2% shooting in his five games against Denver. And Brunson averaged 27.8 points and 5.6 assists as his Knicks won its first playoff series in a decade.