Top 5 debutants in the NBA Playoffs
This is the time of the year that all basketball fans wait for, all year long. When legends are made, and sometimes unravel. The time when every game has incredibly high stakes, and when role players have the chance to be immortalized in basketball history. The playoffs are here, baby!
This time around, we have a number of players who will be playing a postseason game for the first time in their lives. While there are more than 5 debutants, we try to rank the most consequential and impactful players here. Thus, the likes of Markelle Fultz, Bam Adebayo, OG Anunoby and Andrew Wiggins will not feature here, despite the fact that they perform irreplaceable roles for their teams.
Let's take a look at the top 5 players making their playoff debuts in the first round of the playoffs:
Honourable Mention: Ricky Rubio
#5 Jayson Tatum
Jayson Tatum will be having a trial by fire this postseason. In fact, one can consider the entire regular season a trial by fire, considering the fact that Tatum had to step into Gordon Hayward's big shoes in order for the Celtics to finish 2nd in the Eastern Conference after 82 games. Evidence from the first trial has nothing to suggest that Tatum won't be able to pass the upcoming one which is to be the featured scorer on the Celtics' starting lineup.
Tatum is not just the most polished rookie in the league this season, he is also the most polished, complete offensive player on the Celtics roster now that Kyrie Irving is out. Even All-Star Al Horford cannot claim to have the same kind of finishing touch in the paint or the sweet mid-range jumper that Tatum has.
If Tatum does indeed come good in the first round and the Celtics do upset the Bucks, I'm wondering how many journalists will have to reconsider their voting for the Rookie of the Year sweepstakes, because the stakes have just been raised that much higher this go-around.