Many speculated that the NBA bubble would have a dip in performance after the NBA’s hiatus. Some teams out of the 22 invited to Orlando crumbled, meanwhile others excelled under the Disney spotlight. Along with their respective teams, certain players really erupted and played some of their best ball in Florida.
DEVIN BOOKER HEATS UP FOR PHOENIX
Seeding Stats: 30.5 pts 6 ast 4.9 reb 0.5 Stl 0.2 blk 49% FG shooting
Devin Booker was absolutely on one in the bubble. The Suns weren’t a team many saw competing for a playoff spot, but Booker and the Suns thrived. Phoenix finished off the bubble undefeated and were only a half game behind a playoff spot. Devin Booker was the hero for the Suns with a monster slew of games as well as a buzzer beater against the Clippers. Along with Phoenix earning respect, Booker was able to gain attention as a legit top 5 guard in the league. DBook put the team on his back and now is a VERY attractive guard in this league.
DONOVAN MITCHELL MAKES EM DANCE
Seeding Stats: 21.6 pts 5 ast 4.7 reb 0.7 stl 0.3 blk on 46% FG shooting. Playoff Stats: 36.3 pts 4.9 ast 5 reb 1 stl 0.3 blk on 52.5% shooting
Talk about a spike in production. “Spida” Mitchell played fairly well in the seeding games and played even better in the playoff series versus Denver. Critics perceived Utah as a first round exit, but Mitchell and the Jazz played above expectations. Spida had two 50 point games and a 44 point game in the 7-game series. Donovan has solidified himself as the best player in Utah as well as one of the elite shooting guards in the West. Rival executives should be eager to reach out to Mitchell, as he is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2020-21 season.
JAMAL MURRAY, MILE AHEAD OF THE REST
Seeding Stats: 14.5 pts 4.5 ast 4.6 reb 0.8 stl 0.3 blk on 54% FG shooting. Playoff Stats: 27 pts 7 ast 5.4 reb 1.1 stl 0.4 blk on 55.5% FG shooting.
Jamal Murray was on a mission in Orlando. Despite the loss in the Western Conference Finals to the Lakers Murray was a star born in the bubble. He carried the bulk of the load in Denver’s first 7 game series against Utah, where he averaged 31.6 points. On top of that he also helped edge out title favorites LA Clippers in another 7 game series, before Denver’s demise against the Lakers. He played with everything he had on the court and garnered attention ahead of his 2020-21 free agency. Through this impressive run, Jamal Murray proved he can lead a team and should be regarded as a top 5 point guard.