Young stars are dominating the status quo in the 2024 NBA Playoffs thus far

Young stars have been the headline of the 2024 NBA Playoffs through the first week.
Minnesota Timberwolves v Dallas Mavericks
Minnesota Timberwolves v Dallas Mavericks / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

Young stars have stolen the spotlight of the 2024 NBA Playoffs thus far.

The 2024 NBA Playoffs are underway and round one has brought us boatloads of excitement already. Not all series are created equal, however. Over in the West, we've got the Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Minnesota Timberwolves attempting to sweep the Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, and Phoenix Suns respectively. The Dallas Mavericks and LA Clippers series is the only matchup in the first round where both teams have secured a victory.

In the East, we know that no brooms will leave the closet in the first round as every team has already won at least one of their playoff games. The Miami Heat have already stolen a game... in Boston! The Philadelphia 76ers were (what seemed like) 56 blown calls away from potentially leading the series. The Milwaukee Bucks and the Indiana Pacers cannot and will not stop scoring until there's no net left on the hoop. And the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Orlando Magic are putting together an interesting series after the Magic bounced back in Game 3, being down 2-0.

The first round of the playoffs is always give and take. Not every series will be as competitive as fans, franchises, or the league would like, but that's the beauty of advancing - teams will get to play tougher competition down the stretch to prove themselves. One thing is constant among all the playoff series so far this year, and it's an extremely encouraging sign for the NBA.

The 25-year-old-or-younger community is taking over the 2024 NBA Playoffs

What do Luka Doncic, Anthony Edwards, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Paolo Banchero, Tyrese Haliburton, Tyrese Maxey, and Evan Mobley all have in common? They are the clear alphas for their respective playoff teams and are all 25 years or younger. We will mention Zion Williamson here, but he hasn't been fully healthy thus far. That's pretty damning considering the amount of veteran talent on any given NBA roster. It's not like these guys are doing it on their own either. It feels like each one has a worthy accomplice, who's also 25 or younger to assist in their playoff successes.

Luka has a supporting cast of P.J. Washington, Josh Green, and Dereck Lively II. Anthony Edwards has Jaden McDaniels, Naz Reid, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker. SGA has Chet Holmgren, Jalen Williams, and Josh Giddey. Not all of these supporting cast players are superstars, or even stars for that matter, but the league has an overwhelming amount of young players contributing to their respective teams' successes.

It's not even just that there are young stars representing in the Playoffs, it's the overall efforts being given on any single night. The young guys are mostly outplaying the old heads. Anthony Edwards is embarrassing the Kevin Durant/Devin Booker/Bradley Beal-led Suns. Luka Doncic is dismantling the Kawhi Leonard/Paul George/James Harden-led Clippers. Tyrese Haliburton is giving the Damian Lillard/Khris Middleton/Brook Lopez-led Bucks the business.

Glamour statistics are not the best indicator of how a player is playing, but looking at the numbers these young guys are posting, it would be criminal to disregard how incredible they are at stuffing the stat sheet every night:

  • Luka Doncic is averaging 33.9 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 9.8 apg
  • Anthony Edwards is averaging 25.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 5.1 apg
  • Tyrese Haliburton is averaging 20.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 10.9 apg
  • Paolo Banchero is averaging 22.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 5.4 apg
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 30.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 6.2 apg

The Playoffs are a sink-or-swim environment and a time when pressure is at an all-time high. It's bonkers level crazy that all of these studs are showing up on the brightest stage, essentially taking the torch with force from the NBA vets. As a lifelong NBA fan, I can't recall a time when the league boasted such an abundance of young stars - it's an exciting time for the future of basketball.

The addition of high-caliber players is going to increase parity in the league, making the NBA even more thrilling than it already is. The young players are stepping up in this NBA postseason, and it's their time to shine.

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