25-and-Under Players Shining In the 2023 NBA Playoffs
0 of 6
Timberwolves wing Anthony EdwardsGregory Shamus/Getty Images
The NBA playoffs are still very much an old man's game. Experience matters more than ever when the competition intensifies and success depends on execution and veteran savvy.
There's a reason why 14 of the last 15 Finals MVPs have been 26 or older.
With that said, several younger players are making their marks in the early stages of the 2023 postseason. They're gaining the reps and confidence necessary to one day lead their teams all the way to a title.
Some of the 25-and-under talents we'll feature here have already headed home following first-round eliminations. That's fine. A little adversity is part of the seasoning process, and it doesn't detract from their big-game production at these relatively early stages.
We'll likely celebrate the old heads the deeper we get into the playoffs. For now, let's serve the youth.
Honorable Mention: Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets
1 of 6
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images
This is technically Jamal Murray's age-25 season, but he celebrated his 26th birthday in late February. That disqualifies him from our official list, but considering his road back from injury and his undeniable impact on the Denver Nuggets' first-round elimination of the Minnesota Timberwolves, he deserves a sentimental nod.
Murray's postseason level-up is the best indication that he's all the way back from the torn ACL that sidelined him for all of last season. He averaged 27.2 points, 6.4 assists and 5.6 rebounds on a 47.1/42.9/90.9 shooting split in five first-round games against the Timberwolves, exceeding his regular-season figures across the board.
Other than his legendary battle with Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz in the first round of the 2020 playoffs, the series Murray just completed rates as the best one he's ever produced. More importantly for the Nuggets, Murray's return to form means he is again commanding extra defensive attention.
It's already difficult enough to keep Nikola Jokić from picking apart defenses that can play his teammates straight up. But when Murray draws a second defender and allows Jokić to scan the floor in advantage situations, guarding Denver is virtually impossible.
With Jamal Murray back, defenses have to adapt to defending his offensive game. Interested in seeing how the Suns guard the Murray-Jokic PnR. <br><br>Wolves put two on ball. Murray pass to Jokic who has a 4 on 3. Rudy steps up, Ant slides down to defend the lob. MPJ wide open 3 <a href="https://t.co/skndUplWfJ">pic.twitter.com/skndUplWfJ</a>
It's good to have Murray back...unless you have to figure out how to stop him.
Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves
2 of 6
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images
Anthony Edwards' second career playoff run ended even more abruptly than his first, as the top-seeded Denver Nuggets bounced his Minnesota Timberwolves in a tidy five games. The Wolves lasted six games against the Memphis Grizzlies in 2022.
Nonetheless, Edwards' statistical step forward in these playoffs mirrored his gradual growth across his first three regular seasons. The collective progress clearly marks him as a potential superstar ticketed for much longer postseason stays in the future.
At the time his Wolves were eliminated on April 25, Edwards led all 25-and-under postseason participants in total minutes, field goals, free throws, points and value over replacement player (VORP). His 10 blocks put him in a 25-and-under tie with Defensive Player of the Year Jaren Jackson Jr.
If Edwards had merely repeated his 2022 postseason averages of 37.8 minutes, 25.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists, he probably would have earned a spot on this list. But the 2020 No. 1 overall pick left those numbers in the dust. This time around, Edwards posted 31.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.2 assists with a remarkable 60.2 true shooting percentage in 39.8 minutes per game.
Dramatically improved foul-drawing craft earned him more free throws in five games than he attempted in six last postseason, and Edwards was far more responsible with the basketball, tallying 26 assists against just eight turnovers after putting up 18 and 15 last year, respectively. He also fought through a shoulder injury and took on greater defensive responsibilities due to Jaden McDaniels' absence.
The Wolves have their issues. Max-salary center Karl-Anthony Towns continued his trend of struggling in the playoffs, and Rudy Gobert failed to provide the defensive lift Minnesota hoped for. Edwards, though, shone brightly against the Nuggets. Considering he has another four years of eligibility for this list, the Wolves shouldn't get too discouraged.
De'Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings
3 of 6
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
You could make a case that through the initial four games of the Sacramento Kings' first-round series against the Golden State Warriors, De'Aaron Fox was the most impactful player on the floor. In a matchup that featured several four-time champions led by Stephen Curry, that's a big deal.
Fox racked up 38 points in Game 1, slithering his way into the floaters and mid-range pull-ups that made him so difficult to stop during a breakout regular season that should land him on an All-NBA team. Golden State had no answers for the 25-year-old despite deploying defensive aces Andrew Wiggins and Gary Payton II against him.
Although he managed only 24 points in another home win in Game 2, Fox's nine assists, four steals and in-your-jersey defensive harassment against Curry and Jordan Poole were integral to speeding up the Warriors and forcing loads of turnovers and miscues. It's easy to say Golden State's 20 cough-ups and 26 personal fouls were self-inflicted wounds, but Fox and the Kings put the Warriors in uncomfortable positions to produce those gaffes.
Fox missed a triple-double in Game 3 by only one rebound and one assist and then bookended the opening quartet of contests in the series by pumping in another 38 points in Game 4. Unfortunately for the Kings and for Fox, the lefty speedster suffered a fractured left index finger late in that defeat—one which didn't stop him from burying a 29-footer that brought his team within a single point of the Dubs with 28.1 seconds left in the game.
Clearly bothered by the finger in Game 5, Fox still managed to put up 24 points to go with nine assists, seven rebounds and two steals in 41 minutes. Don't forget his 26 points and 11 assists in Game 6, not to mention his integral role in the intense pace-pushing that swung the contest in Sacramento's favor.
Whether the Kings go on to dethrone the Warriors or not, Fox will have used this series to announce his arrival as a legitimate, game-breaking star.
Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks
4 of 6
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Several factors contributed to the New York Knicks knocking off the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games, and most would start the list with point guard Jalen Brunson. But Mitchell Robinson, New York's paint-patrolling center, might have something to say about that.
The 25-year-old's work on the offensive glass was a series-swinger. New York hauled in a ridiculous 34.9 percent of its own misses against Cleveland, a rate that bettered its 31.8 percent offensive rebound rate during the season, which ranked second in the league.
While rebounding tends to require collective effort, Mitchell did more work than any of his teammates. He snared 29 of the team's 75 offensive boards while playing only the fifth-most minutes of any Knick. No other Knicks player had more than Josh Hart's dozen offensive boards in the series.
In addition to creating so many second-chance opportunities, Robinson also made sure the Cavaliers struggled to convert on their first looks. New York forced the ball out of Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell's hands with aggressive defense above the arc, and when Cleveland's release valve—often Evan Mobley—headed downhill in a 4-on-3 situation, Robinson was there time and again to force misses.
The Cavs shot only 46.2 percent on attempts inside six feet when Robinson was the primary defender. That's lower than what Jaren Jackson Jr., Brook Lopez or any of the other bigs in consideration for this season's Defensive Player of the Year allowed during the season.
Robinson's limitations persisted. He was 4-of-11 from the foul line and converted only 18 field goals in the series. But his integral role in the tactics that sent Cleveland home earlier than most expected can't be ignored.
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
5 of 6
Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images
As proof that the playoffs can shift narratives on a dime, Trae Young goes from earning an early postseason loser designation to landing here among the most impressive 25-and-under performers. He earned the former distinction by struggling through a pair of listless losses to the Boston Celtics, sliding into an 0-2 hole that seemed to mark that series as the most lopsided of the first round.
Young hit his stride in Game 3, tallying 32 points and nine assists in an eight-point win. His 35 points and 15 assists couldn't prevent a Game 4 defeat, but the 24-year-old whose leadership came into question throughout the regular season showed up in the biggest way possible to secure another victory in Game 5.
It wasn't just the game-winner Young drilled from way beyond the arc with 1.8 seconds left or the 38 points and the 13 assists—even if those achievements alone would have deserved praise. It was the way he showed up and fought, even sprinkling in a couple of competitive and sturdy stops against Malcolm Brogdon down the stretch.
In contrast to the 2022 playoffs, when Young's effort waned and he averaged only 15.4 points and logged more turnovers (30) than field goals (22) in five games against the Heat, the last few games against Boston felt like a restoration of order. Young is capable of picking apart the best defenses out there, a label that clearly applies to the Celtics, who finished second in defensive rating during the season. In all, he finished up a redemptive 2023 postseason with averages of 29.2 points and 10.2 assists.
Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia 76ers
6 of 6
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images
The Brooklyn Nets were determined not to let Joel Embiid beat them, and they mostly succeeded. Of course, their sell-out strategy that sent multiple bodies at the Philadelphia 76ers' best player every time he touched the ball opened up opportunities for others to attack a warped and overcommitted defense.
Tyrese Maxey happily capitalized on them.
The rocket-propelled 22-year-old guard wound up leading the Sixers with a ridiculously efficient 21.8 points per game. When Embiid got rid of the ball against double-teams, Maxey excelled by accelerating and slicing into gaps. When Brooklyn sank toward the middle, Maxey calmly spotted up and fired from deep. He drilled 15 of his 30 three-point attempts in the four-game sweep.
It won't be as easy to find those opportunities when the Sixers face the Boston Celtics in the second round. Boston won't commit so many resources to slowing Embiid, especially if the big man's knee sprain doesn't allow him to play with something close to the level of force he showed during the year. With James Harden generally unable to break down the defense on his own, it may still fall to Maxey to penetrate and get the offense churning against a Celtics defense that ranked third in points allowed per 100 possessions this year.
Whatever happens from here, though, Maxey has proved he's too good to be an afterthought on the scouting report. Defenses will always focus on Embiid, but the third-year guard can make them pay for that strategy better than any other 76ers player.
- Milwaukee Bucks - Miami Heat.
- Cleveland Cavaliers - New York Knicks.
- Philadelphia 76ers - Brooklyn Nets.
- Boston Celtics - Atlanta Hawks.
All rounds are a best-of-seven series; a series ends when one team wins four games, and that team will advance to the next round. All rounds, including the NBA Finals, will be in a 2–2–1–1–1 format with regards to hosting.Do NBA players get paid per playoff game? ›
With the exception of some players who have negotiated bonus clauses for the playoffs, most professional athletes aren't paid by their teams for playoff games.How do NBA playoff brackets work? ›
The higher seed hosts Games 1, 2, 5 and 7, while the lower seed gets Games 3, 4 and 6. There is no reseeding in the NBA playoffs. So the winner of the 1-8 matchup meets the winner of the 4-5 series in the second round, while the winner of the 2-7 matchup meets the winner of the 3-6 series.How much is the NBA playoff bonus? ›
In the NBA, there is no championship prize money per se -- just a $13 million “Player Playoff Pool” that is funded by playoff gate receipts and is then allocated to playoff teams. The amount earned escalates as the team advances in the playoffs. This money comes from ticket sales to playoff games.Who is favored to win the 2023 NBA Finals? ›
Who Has the Best Odds to Win the 2023 NBA Finals? The Boston Celtics are the favorite to win the NBA title at +200 odds, followed by the Golden State Warriors at +450 odds. Third place has been claimed by The Denver Nuggets with + 460 odds. The Phoenix Suns have risen to the fourth-best odds with +900.Are Warriors out of playoffs 2023? ›
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The NBA 2023 Playoffs returned and the Golden State Warriors took on the Sacramento Kings in the series, defeating them on Game 7 on Sunday.Are the Lakers out of the playoffs 2023? ›
(4/28/23) With their 125-85 win in Game 6, the Lakers win the first round in the 2023 Western Conference playoffs, beating the Memphis Grizzlies (4-2).Who qualifies for NBA playoffs? ›
The top six teams in both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference, ranked by winning percentage, directly advance to the playoffs.How many wins do you need to advance in the NBA playoffs? ›
The first team to win four out of seven games in each matchup advances to the next round. There is no need to play all seven games in many instances because a team wins four games before game seven.
Waterboys in the NBA make around $53,000 to $58,000 annually. However, there are reports that several teams in the league pay their waterboys as much as $100,000, which sounds incredible.Do NBA players get paid weekly or per game? ›
2022-23 monthly amount paid: $4,005,835
This figure was then divided across the 24 bi-weekly paychecks NBA players receive on the 1st and 15th of every month, which was the determining factor in the final rankings. All data was collected and is up to date as of Sept. 27, 2022.
NBA referees are some of the highest-paid officials in professional sports, with a salary that range from $150,000 to $550,000 per year. However, this figure can vary depending on the referee's level of experience and the number of games they officiate during the season, as they earn a fee for each game they officiate.How is the NBA playoff bonus structured? ›
How much is the NBA playoff bonus? For the first time in NBA history, all teams will be eligible for a playoff bonus. This means that each team will receive a check worth $5 million if they make it to the postseason. The money is distributed according to how well each team finishes in the regular season.How does 7 team playoff bracket work? ›
NFL playoff bracket 2023
The NFL playoff bracket will feature seven teams on each side of the bracket. The No. 1 seed in each conference will receive a bye while the other six teams play wild-card games.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has the most career wins, with 1,074 wins.Do players get paid extra for playoffs? ›
How much are players paid for the postseason? It's not just the big game -- players are paid extra for games through the postseason. For the 2022-23 NFL playoffs, Wild Card teams are paid $41,500 and division winners are paid $46,500 for Wild Card games.How much do NBA players get if they win the finals? ›
Beyond the trophy and the banner hanging from its roof from the following year, there is no economic prize for being a winner.... Although, of course, there is a lot of money that comes with it. There are no prizes for winning the championship ring in the NBA, but there is the Player Playoff Pool.Do the Warriors get a bonus for winning? ›
The Warriors' success also plays into a another financial boon: the Player Playoff Pool. In the NBA, there is no prize money awarded to the team that wins the championship. There is, however, a pool of $15 million – funded by playoff gate receipts – that is distributed to teams as they advance through the playoffs.What does 550 odds mean? ›
$2 to win $11 is the same as $1 to win $5.50, which is the same as $100 to win $550 or +550 American odds.
Sixers center Joel Embiid wins 2023 NBA MVP.Who is predicted to win NBA championship? ›
Celtics favored to win 2022-23 NBA Finals.Will the Knicks make the playoffs 2023? ›
Knicks playoff schedule 2023: Every New York playoff game (updated for second round) The New York Knicks are back in the playoffs as the No. 5 seed in the East and will take on the No. 4 Cavaliers in the first round.How many games left in NBA season 2023? ›
While it's almost certain that the Denver Nuggets will finish the season at the top of the Western Conference standings, the East is still up for grabs. Overall, there are 454 games left to play in the 2022-23 NBA season.How can I watch NBA games for free? ›
How Can I Watch NBA Games for Free? You can watch NBA for free without cable through popular Kodi add-ons for sports. Other streaming sites, such as VIPBox and nba-stream.com, allow you to watch NBA online for free. However, keep in mind that these methods are illegal and pose an online security threat, so use a VPN.Will the Clippers make the playoffs 2023? ›
Yes, the Los Angeles Clippers made the Playoffs in 2023. They lost their only series against the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference First Round.Who will the Lakers play in Round 2? ›
Lakers to play Warriors in round 2; time for Game 1 is set.What year did Kobe not make the playoffs? ›
Kobe missed 16 games, and the Los Angeles Lakers failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 1993-94.
There are qualifications for stat leaderboards; you must appear in at least 58 games to qualify for the scoring title, for example.What is the limit to join the NBA? ›
The basic rules that started in the 2006 draft are: All drafted players must be at least 19 years old during the calendar year of the draft. To determine whether a player is eligible for a given year's draft, subtract 19 from the year of the draft. If the player was born during or before that year, he is eligible.
How can each team participating in the Play-In Tournament earn a spot in the NBA Playoffs? The teams with the seventh-highest and eighth-highest winning percentages in each conference will each have two opportunities to win one game to earn a playoff spot.How important is game 3 in NBA playoffs? ›
Whoever is winning after Game 3 has won 126 of the last 150 series, the most of any game number. This actually makes sense. After Game 3, both teams have two games left on their home court, regardless of who started with it. All they have to do is hold serve, and they win.How many games do you have to win in the postseason to advance? ›
There will be four total Divisional Series, two in each league, with the winners facing off in the Championship Series. The Championship Series is a best-of-seven series, with teams needing to win four games in order to advance. The winners of these series determines the American League and National League Champions.How many games do you need to win the playoffs? ›
As there are eight teams in each conference in the playoffs, there will be four matchups per conference. Within each matchup, there can be up to seven games, with the winner being the first to win four. Thus, sometimes all seven games are not necessary as some teams will reach four wins before then.How much do NBA Ball Boy make? ›
How much does a Ball Boy make? As of Apr 25, 2023, the average annual pay for a Ball Boy in the United States is $40,376 a year.How much do NBA towel boy make? ›
Even though most sweepers get paid based on their personal experience, their average salary in the NBA is $80,000. That's quite a good amount of money given that these individuals don't have to work full days, but also ensure that the game always goes on. Additionally, each NBA team gives out a different salary.How much does a Ball Boy make in the NBA a year? ›
|Memphis Grizzlies Ball Boy salaries - 1 salaries reported||$25/hr|
|Houston Astros Ball Boy salaries - 1 salaries reported||$54,073/yr|
|Italian Center of Stamford Ball Boy salaries - 1 salaries reported||$26/hr|
|NBA Ball Boy salaries - 1 salaries reported||$29/hr|
Owners also provide the lodging for the players, and this means putting them in four and five-star hotels. With one of the greatest unions in the world behind them, players have ensured that even when they are on the road in a grueling schedule, they are afforded every luxury within reason.Are NBA salaries monthly? ›
How do NBA players get paid, weekly or monthly? Basketballers are typically paid bi-weekly during the regular season. Their salary is divided into 24 or 26 payments (depending on the number of weeks in the regular season), and they receive a paycheck every other week.How much is a 10 day contract in the NBA? ›
How much is an NBA 10-day contract worth? NBA 10-day contracts range from 61,000 to 175,000 dollars, based on the player's experience. Essentially, the minimum salary they are eligible for is pro-rated for the length of the contract.
As part of collective bargaining agreements, the NBA permits the referees to travel first class on flights scheduled for longer than two hours. However, the labor contract allows the referees to downgrade the tickets and keep the money saved.What sport pays refs the most? ›
- Sports Statistician. Salary range: $41,500-$100,000 per year. ...
- Umpire. Salary range: $39,000-$60,500 per year. ...
- Basketball Referee. Salary range: $26,500-$47,000 per year. ...
- Soccer Referee. Salary range: $25,500-$39,500 per year. ...
- Scorekeeper. Salary range: $21,000-$34,000 per year.
Silver confirmed that the league does in fact punish officials for incorrect calls as he spoke to ESPN about how the association deals with those referees. 'We don't publicize discipline for officials. We don't think that will be appropriate,' Silver said on SportsCenter to ESPN's Sage Steele.Who gets home-court advantage in NBA Finals? ›
Who gets home court advantage in the NBA Playoffs? In the first three rounds, home court advantage is awarded to the team that is seeded higher. In the NBA Finals, home court advantage is awarded to the team with a higher regular season win percentage.Who gets home-court advantage in NBA playoffs? ›
Usually, in a playoff series, home advantage is the benefit the home team has over the one visiting. In the NBA, the team with the higher seed gets to have the home-court advantage and plays the first two games of the traditional playoff series at home.Can a 3 7 team make the playoffs? ›
While this can be classified as a rally by default, this Washington team (7-9) did make some history by winning a putrid NFC East. This is the only team to start 3-7 and make the playoffs. (Somehow, the Chargers' myriad recovery efforts never covered this ground.)How to do playoffs with 12 teams? ›
How will a 12-team College Football Playoff work? The 12-team format will feature, in order, the top four conference champions, followed by some combination of the top six at-large bids and two highest-ranked remaining conference champions. Teams will be ordered based on the College Football Playoff rankings.What happens if a team ties in the playoffs? ›
If two teams are tied for a position, both teams are awarded the ranking as if they held it solely. For example, if Team A and Team B are tied for first in points scored, each team is assigned a ranking of “1” in that category, and if Team C is third, its ranking will still be “3.”What was the worst NBA record ever? ›
|2011–12 Charlotte Bobcats season|
|Arena||Time Warner Cable Arena|
Previously, the Globetrotters also had a four-point circle, used since 2010. Of professional leagues, only Big3 has this four-point play. The NBA career leader in four point plays is Jamal Crawford, with 54 over the course of his career, followed by James Harden with 36.How much does each player get for winning the Super Bowl? ›
According to the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL, each member of the winning team will pocket $157,000, a $7,000 bump over what the Los Angeles Rams earned last year. Winners of Super Bowl LVIII next year will receive $164,000. They'll get those checks within 15 days of the game.How much does each player get for a playoff game? ›
For the 2022-23 NFL playoffs, players are paid either $41,500 (Wild Card teams) or $46,500 (division winners) for Wild Card games, $46,500 for the divisional round, and $69,000 for conference championships.Do Hall of Famers get paid? ›
Some Hall of Fame members may receive a one-time payment or stipend upon induction, while others may receive nothing more than the prestige and honor that comes with being inducted into such a prestigious organization.Who is the richest NBA player? ›
LeBron James Net Worth - $1 Billion
LeBron entered the NBA at age 18, and has made over $430 million in his career to this point. He's under contract through the 2022-23 season with the Los Angeles Lakers, and has a shoe deal believed to be worth over $1 billion with Nike.
On average, prices range from $10,000 to $40,000 US dollars. However, there are also more expensive versions, with prices that can exceed $100,000. NBA rings are paid for by the team that wins the title.What are the odds the Warriors win the championship 2023? ›
Who Has the Best Odds to Win the 2023 NBA Finals? The Boston Celtics are the favorite to win the NBA title at +200 odds, followed by the Golden State Warriors at +450 odds. Third place has been claimed by The Denver Nuggets with + 460 odds. The Phoenix Suns have risen to the fourth-best odds with +900.How much do NBA players get after winning the finals? ›
Beyond the trophy and the banner hanging from its roof from the following year, there is no economic prize for being a winner.... Although, of course, there is a lot of money that comes with it. There are no prizes for winning the championship ring in the NBA, but there is the Player Playoff Pool.How many teams go to the playoffs 2023? ›
A total of 14 teams compete in the playoffs, which means there are seven teams from each conference. Each first-round seed will receive an automatic bye into the divisional round, while the other six teams will compete in the wild card round. In the wild card round, the No.Who will be the best NBA team 2023? ›
Sixers center Joel Embiid wins 2023 NBA MVP.Will the Raptors make the playoffs 2023? ›
Toronto has clinched a Play-In Tournament berth, so it will have a chance to reach the 2023 NBA Playoffs. If they manage to survive and advance, the Raptors would secure a playoff spot for the ninth time in the past 10 seasons.How many teams qualify for playoff? ›
|San Antonio Spurs||2022-23||27.2|
NBA Team Rankings -2023 Offensive Rankings.
|Team Name||Golden State Warriors GS|
The Boston Celtics are the deepest team in the NBA according to a recent analysis by Bleacher Report's Grant Hughes. Unlike many such analyses, however, Hughes focuses more on the quality of the depth over the sheer number of playable options on the roster.Who is the youngest NBA MVP? ›
Just three seasons after being drafted No. 1 overall, Derrick Rose was named MVP at the age of 22.Did embiid win MVP 2023? ›
Embiid beat out Denver's Nikola Jokić and Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo on Tuesday to win the 2023 NBA MVP Award for the first time in his career. The Sixers' big man crushed it in the voting, recording 73 of the 100 first-place votes over his competitors.Why did Embiid get MVP? ›
Embiid averaged a league-high 33.1 points per game during the regular season to go along with 10.2 rebounds per game. This is the first career MVP award for Embiid, the first ever awarded to a player from Cameroon and just the second time for a player from Africa.Who do the Celtics play-in Round 2? ›
109 playoff basketball games, more than any two other teams have faced each other in the tournament.
Each quarter makes up a 12-minute session, meaning that in total a game of basketball will last for 48-minutes at NBA level. Some major European and international setups, though, will use a 10-minute quarter instead, making the whole match 40-minutes in length.How many games does the Warriors have left? ›
The Warriors have one game remaining.