The 2021 NBA playoffs have been an enthralling affair thus far. With the LA Lakers eliminated, there'll be a new champion crowned. All the eight remaining teams have the potential to go all the way, which makes this year's playoffs one of the most unpredictable postseasons in recent years.
Many young players like Devin Booker, Trae Young, Ja Morant and Deandre Ayton made their playoff debuts this year and fared well for their teams. Except for Morant, all the other aforementioned stars are in the second round and have a legitimate shot at advancing to the Conference Finals.
On that note, let's have a look at the five most impressive under-25 players in the 2021 NBA playoffs so far:
#1 Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz)
Donovan Mitchell is quickly turning into a mega-star of the game, shutting down his doubters by producing match-winning performances in the ongoing 2021 NBA playoffs.
The 24-year-old returned from a month-long injury layoff in Game 2 of the first-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies and led the Utah Jazz to six straight wins.
The Jazz won the series against the Grizzlies 4-1 and are leading the LA Clippers 2-0 in the second round. Mitchell is averaging 32.7 points on 48.2% shooting from the floor and is topping the points per game leaderboard among players who are still 'alive' in the playoffs this year.
#2 Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)
Although the Dallas Mavericks failed to advance to the second round of the 2021 playoffs, Luka Doncic's postseason run this year was absolutely stunning. The Slovenian ended his campaign with the most points per game in the playoffs, averaging 35.7 points per contest.
He also averaged 10.3 assists and 7.9 rebounds per game, almost single-handedly winning games for the Dallas Mavericks and taking the series to a seventh game. He also broke multiple records along the way.
Doncic became the first player in NBA history to tally 275+ points, 75 rebounds, and as many assists in their first nine playoff appearances. In Game 5 of the series against the LA Clippers, he contributed 31 of 37 field goals made by the Mavericks. That helped him set a new playoff record for the highest percentage contribution (83.8%) by a player in his team's field goals in an NBA playoff game.
#3 Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks)
Trae Young's debut NBA playoff game was a dream start for any player playing their first postseason game. He silenced the hostile Madison Square Garden with a game-winning floater in the dying moments of the match to seal a win for the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 of the first-round series.
Young went on to lead his side to an unexpected 4-1 series win over the Knicks, doing so at the MSG to become the latest 'villain' in New York.
The 22-year-old continued his excellent run in the second round, helping the Hawks record a shock win over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1. He is averaging 28.9 points and ten assists per game in the 2021 playoffs.
#4 Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns)
Devin Booker has taken to the playoffs like a duck to water. Waiting five years for his first postseason appearance, Booker has been phenomenal for the Phoenix Suns in their stellar run in the 2020-21 NBA playoffs so far.
Booker helped his team oust defending champions LA Lakers 4-2 in the first round, top-scoring for his team with 47 points. He also tallied 11 rebounds in that game at the Staples Center to announce his arrival on the big stage.
Booker has worked on many aspects of his game. When he doesn't score big, he creates opportunities for his teammates and puts in efficient shifts in defense.
The 24-year-old is averaging 27.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and five assists on 50% shooting from the floor in the ongoing playoffs. The Suns are 2-0 up in their second-round series against the Denver Nuggets and look good to reach the conference finals. For that to happen, Booker will have to play a key role.
#5 Deandre Ayton (Phoenix Suns)
Deandre Ayton continues to impress with his performances in his first postseason series. He has been dominant against some of the NBA veterans like Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond and Nikola Jokic, which is impressive. Ayton has played a key role in the Phoenix Suns' successful postseason campaign thus far.
The 22-year old started his playoff career with four consecutive double-doubles in the series against the LA Lakers. His Game 1 performances against Anthony Davis in round one and Nikola Jokic in round two have been the biggest highlights of the ongoing 2020-21 NBA postseason.
In Game 1 against the Lakers, Ayton had 21 points and 16 rebounds on 91% shooting from the floor, while he managed to restrict AD to just 13 points and seven rebounds. Against Jokic in round two, Ayton stood up tall against this year's NBA MVP, scoring 20 points and ten rebounds, while the 'Joker' tallied 22 points and nine rebounds.