May 2024

Players Likely to Shine in the NBA Finals

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With the playoffs officially underway, fans everywhere are trying to predict who will make it to the finals.

While some have already experienced disappointment — such as when the Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Suns on Sunday, April 28th, pulling off an unexpected sweep — others are riding the wave of excitement.

With LeBron James’ Lakers only one game away from elimination at the hands of the Denver Nuggets, many in LA were hoping the Lakers can do what has never been done, the reverse sweep, by coming back from a 3-0 deficit. 

At this early stage, it's impossible to predict with any certainty which two teams will end up in the NBA Finals. Still, many players have already shown they're in it for the long haul. They've put in impressive performances that are more than worthy of being seen on the Final stage. This article looks at emerging talent ready to make their mark by winning an NBA championship this year. 

Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic has been on a mission this year with one goal in mind: bringing home the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy. Sports betting has become increasingly popular in recent years, and many fans have undoubtedly bet on Luka and the Mavericks. The excitement of the postseason makes betting on the NBA playoffs part of the routine for many basketball enthusiasts. Websites like Oddschecker list various promotions and free bets from sportsbooks, making it easy for fans to find what works best for them. Many will be tuning in to keep tabs on how Luck and the Mavericks fare in the playoffs. 

Luka began the postseason having secured the title of 2023-2024 scoring champion, putting up 33.9 points, along with 9.2 rebounds and 9.8 assists per game. At 25 years old, he became the youngest scoring champion since Kevin Durant. During the 2021-2022 season, he led the Dallas Mavericks to the Western Conference Finals, where they lost to the Golden State Warriors in five games. 

However, the Mavericks have changed a lot since that season, making important trades and adding all-star Kyrie Irving to their lineup. These changes have paid off and now Luka is laser-focused on defeating the LA Clippers to advance to the Western Conference semifinals. He hasn't disappointed in the postseason, averaging 29 points, 9.8 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game. He's already reached 1,000 career playoff points and is tied third in NBA history for reaching that point in the fewest number of games. If the Mavericks can pull past the Clippers, there's no doubt Luka will put on a show. 

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

If you asked most NBA fans which team they thought would sit atop the Western Conference at the end of the 2023-2024 season, very few would have predicted the Oklahoma City Thunder. Who could blame them? The previous year gave no indication that OKC would take off the way it has.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has averaged 30.5 points in the playoffs, leading his team to a 3–0 advantage over the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round. If the tides don't turn soon, the Pelicans may find themselves swept out of the first round like the Phoenix Suns. Shai is known for his clutch plays and all-around talent, which are matched by few in the league. 

While the Denver Nuggets remain the favorites to make it out of the Western Conference, Shai has other plans, and nobody should count him and his teammates out. If he keeps playing at his current level, he might just be unstoppable in a Final Series. 

Anthony Edwards

At 22 years old, Anthony Edwards, aka Ant, has yet to reach his prime, but he hasn't let that stop him from putting up superstar numbers during the Minnesota Timberwolves' rout of the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs. In the last game of the series, Edwards scored 40 points, including hitting seven 3-point shots, securing the Timberwolves victory over the Suns with a score of 122-116.

If his performance in the first round is any indication of what's to come, fans have a lot of excitement in store as Ant and his teammates progress through the postseason.


JRZY provides unparalleled data, insights and analysis to identify and activate the best economic opportunities for athletes, brands and consumers.

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