NBA G League News & Notes: 2021 NBA Playoffs

Official Release | May 24, 2021

DEVELOPED IN THE G: Nearly half of the players in this year’s NBA Playoffs have NBA G League experience.  Thirty-two players were selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. The Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz each have 11 players with NBA G League experience, tied for the most among the 16 playoff teams. Two teams – the Memphis Grizzlies (Taylor Jenkins) and Utah Jazz (Quin Snyder) – have head coaches with NBA G League experience.

UTAH JAZZ: The Jazz finished with the NBA’s best record at 52-20 under head coach Quin Synder.  Snyder, the 2008-09 NBA G League Coach of the Year with the Austin Toros, has guided the Jazz to five consecutive playoff appearances. Utah’s roster features several players with NBA G League experience, including Rudy Gobert (Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year finalist), Jordan Clarkson (Kia NBA Sixth Man finalist), Georges Niang and Royce O’Neale.

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES: In his second season, head coach Taylor Jenkins has the Grizzlies in the NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2017. In addition to serving as the head coach of the Austin Toros for one season (2012-13), Jenkins also spent four seasons as an assistant coach for Austin (2008-12), where he worked under Quin Snyder for two seasons. Starting forward Kyle Anderson as well as key reserves Grayson Allen and De’Anthony Melton have NBA G League experience.

LOS ANGELES LAKERS: Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso has established himself as a key player on the Lakers with his effort, especially on the defensive end. Caruso, the Lakers first-ever two-way player, was named to the 2018 NBA G League All-Second Team and played in 27 games with the South Bay Lakers during the 2018-19 season.

With the Lakers missing key players such as LeBron James, Anthony Davis and fellow NBA G League Alum Dennis Schroder for extended stretches this season, Talen Horton-Tucker’s play helped the team remain in playoff contention. The 2019 second-round pick had a standout performance on national television on May 12 in a 101-99 victory against the New York Knicks, highlighted by scoring the game-winning basket.

JOE HARRIS: Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris led the NBA in three-point field goal percentage (47.5) and ranked sixth in threes made (211) this season. Harris appeared in 21 games for the Canton Charge.

CLINT CAPELA: Atlanta’s Clint Capela became the first NBA G League Alum to lead the league in rebounding (14.3 rpg). The 6-10 center averaged a double-double of 15.2 points and 14.3 rebounds. Capela played in 38 games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers during the 2014-15 season.

NORMAN POWELL: After being acquired by the Portland Trail Blazers on March 25, Norman Powell has made an instant impact in Portland. From March 25 through the end of the regular season, Portland led the NBA in offensive rating (119.2). In the 2015-16 season, the former UCLA standout averaged 24.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.6 assists for Raptors 905.

UNDRAFTED: Fifty players with NBA G League experience on playoff rosters went undrafted.  Several players refined their game in the NBA G League and have become impactful players for their teams, most notably Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson (Miami Heat), Seth Curry (Philadelphia 76ers), Robert Covington (Portland Trail Blazers) and Ish Smith (Washington Wizards).

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