Top 10 Best Players of the First Round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs

During the first round of the playoffs, some teams played well, and others not so much. Same goes with players. These are the best players from the first round of the NBA playoffs.
The Top Ten
1 Luka Doncic

Luka did nearly everything in his power to ensure the Mavericks would advance to the next round. However, other players did not have the same idea. The Mavericks ended up losing in game 7 to the Clippers, despite Luka averaging 36 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists throughout the playoff series.

This included a 46-point and 14-assist game 7, where he accounted for 40% of the team's points and assisted for an additional 24%. It is mind-boggling to me how the Mavericks were not able to win this series with Luka's incredible performances.

2 Damian Lillard Damian Lamonte Ollie Lillard is an American professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He previously played for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Another player who had his team disappoint him, Lillard was able to once again provide generational statistics in the playoff series. He scored 55 points in game 5 (they lost) and ended up breaking the record for most three-pointers in a series in only 6 games.

Averaging 34 points, 4 rebounds, and 11 assists per game, 45% from three-point range, and still losing? Lillard was once again disappointed by his supporting cast on the Trailblazers.

3 Nikola Jokic Nikola Jokić is a Serbian professional basketball player for the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association.

The league MVP, Jokic, did not disappoint for the Nuggets in the first round of the NBA playoffs this season. Through 6 games, he averaged 33 points per game, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists, a continuation of his numbers during his MVP regular season.

This included a 36-point, 8-rebound, 6-assist game to clinch the series win in game 6. He certainly helped prove why he was named MVP in this series.

4 Kevin Durant Kevin Wayne Durant is an American professional basketball player for the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association. He has played for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, and the Nets. He was MVP of the 2017 and 2018 NBA Finals.

Kevin Durant, along with the rest of the Brooklyn Nets cast, absolutely crushed the Boston Celtics in the first round. This was behind Kevin Durant's impressive performance, averaging 33 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists over the course of the series.

This included a game 4 performance of 42 points in 40 minutes, where the big three cemented themselves as one of the best trios in the league.

5 Giannis Antetokounmpo Giannis Antetokounmpo is a Greek professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association.

Giannis and the Bucks, in a surprising rout of the Heat, reached new heights, especially Giannis, who averaged 24 points, 15 rebounds, and 8 assists during the series. More importantly, Giannis guarded Jimmy Butler for most of the series, holding him to much below his talent level, allowing only 14.5 points per game.

This defense, coupled with his offensive leadership, helped lead the Bucks to a resounding victory.

6 Kawhi Leonard Kawhi Anthony Leonard is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association. He has played for the San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, and the Clippers.

Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers were able to win a close series against Luka Doncic. Leonard averaged 32 points per game, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists, going off against one of the young guns of the NBA.

Facing elimination at the end of the series, Kawhi scored 45 points in game 6 and won two straight to take the series in game 7.

7 Trae Young Rayford Trae Young is an American professional basketball player for the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association.

There was nothing more entertaining in the first round of the NBA playoffs than Trae Young making the New York Knicks fans angry. Young and the Hawks balled out against New York, where Trae averaged 29 points per game and 10 assists, in one of the most hostile environments in all of basketball.

He was even able to score a buzzer-beater to win game one, silencing the Knicks crowd.

Trae Young went nuclear against the Knicks. It was a super funny series in reality.

8 Devin Booker Devin Armani Booker is an American professional basketball player for the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association.

Devin Booker and a hot Suns team went into the Lakers series against a powerful LeBron James and were able to defeat the Lakers in 6 games. Booker balled out, averaging 30 points per game, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists, on 50% shooting and 46% from three-point range.

He also had a 47-point game in game six to win the series in 46 minutes.

Devin Booker is at least top three for me. That man absolutely dominated my team. Complete respect to him. He has cemented himself.

9 James Harden James Edward Harden, Jr. is an American professional basketball player for the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association.

Alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, James Harden still put up incredible numbers against the Celtics. Harden averaged a near triple-double, at 28 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds throughout the series. He also shot at an incredible 55% and 47% from three-point range.

Even when he isn't the only star, Harden has shown he can still get it done in Brooklyn.

10 Donovan Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz proved they were for real in a clear rout of the Grizzlies in the first round. Mitchell averaged a very impressive 29 points, 6 assists, and 3 rebounds per game, while also shooting very efficiently, at 45% and 40% from three-point range.

The Contenders
11 Joel Embiid Joel Hans Embiid is a Cameroonian professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association.
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