Luka Doncic, Donovan Mitchell, Jamal Murray, and Jayson Tatum were all a part of the first playoff fixtures. Doncic and his Dallas Mavericks team fell to the LA Clippers, while Jayson Tatum led the Boston Celtics over the Philadelphia 76ers. Mitchell and Murray faced each other in the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz matchup.
The four stars effectively achieved something unique with their performances. Doncic dropped 42 points in his playoff debut, the highest by any debuting player ever. Jayson Tatum had 32 in his game while Murray and Mitchell had an OT thriller. Mitchell dropped a whopping 57 points in a loss to Denver who were led by Murray’s 36 points.
All four players have one thing in common. All of them are still under the age of 25. They made history by having over 30 points in their games. This was the first time in playoffs history that four players under the age of 25 bagged 30+ points on the same day.
Doncic is a 21-year-old sophomore in the league, while Murray is in his fourth season at the age of 23. Tatum and Mitchell were drafted together in 2017 and are aged 22 and 23, respectively.
Basketball, like everything else, eventually sees father time change the status quo. The established guard of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook are all in their 30s now.
This means a new generation has to rise up. This generation is led by the likes of Doncic, Murray, Mitchell, and Tatum, Devin Booker, along with reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, and others.
Doncic, in particular, has enjoyed a meteoric rise. Not many players have had the jump that he has had in only his second season. This the main reason why he is in the running for the Most Improved Player award, despite being an MVP candidate.
The future of basketball is extremely safe in the hands of these young superstars. They have benefitted from the evolution of the game. It is time for them to inspire future generations of players.
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