NBA Playoffs 2024: Mavs’ Star Hypes Up The Emergence Of A New Generation

NBA Playoffs 2024 : Mavs' star hypes up the emergence of a new generation

It’s been discussed, but perhaps not enough and not early enough. When surveying the landscape of the 2024 NBA Playoffs, a common theme emerges: most of the teams still standing are led by stars from the new generation.

The fans are accustomed to seeing dominant players in the playoffs, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant, are all at home, vacationing early. In fact, Curry’s Golden State Warriors never even clinched a postseason berth. After winning three championships in a five-year stretch, the mighty Warriors have missed the playoffs in three of the last five seasons.

James’ squad was halted by the favourite NBA champions, while Durant’s team was ousted by a team that only recently gained critical acclaim. Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks and Kawhi Leonard and Paul George’s Los Angeles Clippers were also eliminated in the first round. Notably, Antetokounmpo and Leonard barely played in their respective series.

However, this underscores that a changing of the guard has arrived, as few young stars have let injuries keep them out of the lineup. This includes Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, who has played through various injuries. It was Doncic and company who took down the Clippers in six games. Though the Mavs are buoyed by 32-year-old Kyrie Irving, Doncic is averaging team-highs of 27.1 points and 9.0 assists per game.

Kyrie Irving About Young Guns in NBA

Doncic’s teammate Irving noted that his contemporaries might be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. However, the eight-time All-Star takes this as a challenge while appreciating the change.

“I’ve been competing with those guys for so long and seeing them every year,” Irving told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “It’s been pretty much our generation running the Finals, the Eastern Conference Finals, Western Conference Finals. [The shift has] just been quick. I don’t want to say I know that those guys are looking at the light in the tunnel. I can’t speak for them.

“But to see this newer generation come in and to see how it’s played out, I’m excited. It keeps me motivated and inspired to continue to lead my generation because I was the youngest of that generation watching them.

“These young kids, they have no fear,” Irving continued. “When you have that much talent and you have no fear, the world is yours.”

The New Generation of NBA players

The Mavs’ current playoff opponent is one of the teams Irving was talking about.

Led by 2024 NBA MVP runner-up Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Oklahoma City Thunder are down 3-2 to Dallas in the Western Conference Finals. To get there, Gilgeous-Alexander and company swept the New Orleans Pelicans. Led by veteran CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram, the Pelicans were unable to gain much lift with high-flyer Zion Williamson sidelined.

The Thunder, also featuring youngsters Jalen Williams and Chet Holmgren, are now the youngest team to achieve a playoff series win with the highest odds.

Anthony Edwards’ Minnesota Timberwolves soundly defeated the Denver Nuggets.

Led by Nikola Jokic, the 29-year-old three-time MVP, the Nuggets won their first NBA championship in 2023. Looking to be the first team to repeat as champions since the Golden State Warriors (2017, 2018), they must take down a team led by a 22-year-old just to reach the Conference Finals. However, there’s no guarantee they will.

Among the most fearless young players in the league, Edwards’ postseason dominance has drawn comparisons to Michael Jordan.

The New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers also defeated veteran teams to reach the second round.

Both Jalen Brunson and Tyrese Haliburton broke out last season, becoming All-Stars since then. With the Knicks and Pacers putting the ball in their hands, they know they have their best shot at winning. However, only one of the two will be making it to the Western Conference Finals as the teams face off in the semifinals.

Similarly, only one of Doncic and Gilgeous-Alexander can advance to the next round.

Jimmy E
Writer & Tipster

Jimmy is our on-duty tipster and writer. His favorite sports are cricket, tennis, and basketball. If you’re looking for the best betting tips in the business, Jimmy’s your guy. His tips and events previews are among the most read at BetZillion.

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