NBA’s younger superstars exhibiting their time is now in playoffs

NEW YORK — Trae Younger didn’t seem like a postseason rookie in silencing a rocking street crowd in New York.

“The second wasn’t too large for him,” Atlanta teammate Lou Williams mentioned.

Nor for Ja Morant or Devin Booker, who had been simply as spectacular of their debuts. Throw in Luka Doncic selecting up the place he left off final yr, and the opening weekend of the playoffs could have confirmed that the time is now for among the NBA’s greatest younger guards.

“The good gamers, in each period, that’s what they do,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau mentioned. “They pose issues.”

Booker and Doncic shall be again in motion Tuesday, hoping to ship the 2 Los Angeles groups into 2-0 holes.

Phoenix coach Monty Williams mentioned Booker has labored on his sport to be on this place.

“He trusts the work. I’ve at all times mentioned this about Devin, he’s not afraid of the second. He’s not afraid of those video games,” Williams mentioned. “He truly needs to be in these video games. That’s what I attribute it to — his capacity to focus and play the identical method regardless of the stage.”

Doncic hit a buzzer beater towards the Clippers to win a sport in final yr’s postseason, however that is his first time dealing with a playoff street crowd. No drawback with that — or Kawhi Leonard or Paul George — to this point, ending with 31 factors, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in Dallas’ 113-103 victory at Staples Middle on Saturday. He has three triple-doubles in seven postseason video games.

Memphis and Atlanta wrapped up the weekend with street victories. The Grizzlies, simply days after profitable at Golden State simply to earn the ultimate postseason berth, beat No. 1 seed Utah 112-109. Morant scored 26 factors, turning into the ninth participant 22 or youthful since 1984 to attain 25 or extra in a postseason debut — which Doncic did final yr.

Younger had 32 factors and 10 assists in New York, the place his floater within the lane with 0.9 seconds left gave the Hawks a 107-105 victory. He is needed to face comparisons to Doncic ever since their draft rights had been swapped for one another in 2018, with Dallas transferring up two spots to No. 3 to take the eventual Rookie of the Yr.

Younger lastly received the Hawks again to the playoffs for the primary time since 2017 and made it a memorable return.

“He belongs,” Lou Williams mentioned. “He’s a postseason participant. He confirmed it tonight.”

The younger stars are doing loads of that to this point.

Tuesday’s video games:

CELTICS AT NETS

Brooklyn leads 1-0. Sport 2, 7:30 p.m. EDT, TNT.

— NEED TO KNOW: The Nets received a mixed 82 factors from Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving of their 104-93 victory in Sport 1, although the three stars had been removed from their greatest. Irving and Harden had been simply 2 for 8 from 3-point vary, whereas Durant was 1 for 8.

— KEEP AN EYE ON: Jayson Tatum. The Celtics star appeared to lack power after scoring 50 factors earlier within the week within the play-in match. He did not have a basket within the second half and completed 6 for 20.

— INJURY WATCH: Nothing new for the Nets, excellent news for them after having to play with out Durant and Harden so usually in the course of the season. Boston’s Robert Williams III is anticipated to play. He has battled turf toe and wasn’t sure for Sport 1 till going by means of warmups, however had no issues whereas ending with 11 factors, 9 rebounds and 9 blocks.

— PRESSURE IS ON: The Celtics’ offense. Coach Brad Stevens has mentioned the Celtics cannot depend on holding down the high-scoring Nets, so must put factors on the board. So Boston must do significantly better than the 40 factors it managed within the second half and 37% capturing total within the opener.

LAKERS AT SUNS

Phoenix leads 1-0. Sport 2, 10 p.m. EDT, TNT.

— NEED TO KNOW: The Lakers are again in the identical spot they had been in final season. They dropped Sport 1 within the first spherical towards Portland, and once more within the Western Convention semifinals towards Houston. They did not lose once more in both sequence.

— KEEP AN EYE ON: Deandre Ayton. If the Suns middle comes wherever near his 21-point, 16-rebound effort from Sport 1, it negates what was anticipated to be a giant front-court benefit for the Lakers.

— INJURY WATCH: Each James and Chris Paul are anticipated to be able to go after sustaining shoulder accidents in Sport 1.

— PRESSURE IS ON: Anthony Davis. The Lakers famous person large man put it there himself after capturing 5 for 16 in Sport 1. “There isn’t a method we’re profitable a sport, not to mention a sequence with the way in which I performed,” Davis mentioned. “That is on me.”

MAVERICKS AT CLIPPERS

Dallas leads 1-0. Sport 2, 10:30 p.m. EDT, NBA TV.

— NEED TO KNOW: Doncic was even barely higher within the opener than he was final yr towards the Clippers, when he averaged 31 factors, 9.8 rebounds and eight.7 assists within the six-game sequence.

— KEEP AN EYE ON: The three-point arc. Dallas managed it in Sport 1, with Doncic and Tim Hardaway Jr. each making 5 3-pointers and Dorian Finney-Smith making 4. The Clippers, who shot an NBA-best 41% from 3-point vary in the course of the season, had been simply 11 for 40 (27.5%).

— INJURY WATCH: JJ Redick missed Sport 1 for Dallas with Achilles soreness.

— PRESSURE IS ON: Marcus Morris. The beginning ahead missed all six 3-point makes an attempt and the Clippers had been outscored by 23 factors in his 33 minutes.

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Extra AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities

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