The playoffs are here and players stocks are violently fluctuating! From Jrue Holiday cementing his place as a star to Damian Lillard losing his reputation as kid clutch, much has happened in the first round. Here are 5 players whose values have changed most in round 1-
1. Damian Lillard
2017-18 was the season that Lillard really cemented his status as an NBA superstar. The Dame led Trailblazers reputation changed from the “Little team that could” in the West to a mainstay contender. Lillard, always known for his clutch playoff moments, killed it in the regular season as well averaging 26.9 points and 6.6 assists per game. Come the playoffs everyone expected the newly anointed NBA star to follow suit and come through in the clutch as he always has, right? Not exactly. Lillard averaged a meager 22 points in the first round of the playoffs on 39.6 percent shooting and 32.5 percent from 3, while his team got not only upset but SWEPT by the sixth seeded Pelicans. While Lillard is still a star in the league, his status as a superstar might now be in question after a horrible postseason performance.
2. Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony used to be a superstar. When he struggled with the Knicks, the fans blamed the triangle. When the Knicks ditched the triangle, fans said that he had no reason to try on a bad team. When he didn’t play well during the regular season for a team lauded as a contender, his fans said that he was saving his stardom for the playoffs. Well the playoffs are here, and his stardom in 2012. Carmelo Anthony, known as a “scorer” is averaging a measly 14.3 points on 37.3% shooting and 23.1% from 3 in round 1. At this point, there are no excuses left for Melo. He’s no longer a superstar, star or maybe even average starter.
3. Jrue Holiday
Holiday has always been known as an above average player. However, his defensive toughness and status as a two way player has always been mostly ignored by fans as he has been subject to non-contending teams. While he had a nice regular season averaging 19 points, 4.5 rebounds and 6 assists for the sixth seeded Pelicans and also playing stellar defense, no one could have predicted what he would do in the first round. Holiday went and burst on the playoff scene averaging 26.8 points on 59.4 percent shooting with 6.6 assists per game. If that wasn’t enough his defense held “superstar” Damian Lillard to sub 40 percent shooting and only 22 points per game. Let’s just say Holiday is to be ignored by fans no longer.
4. Rajon Rondo
Rondo was a postseason star back in his Celtics days. Then, last year, he had an outstanding performance for Chicago in round 1 of the playoffs before going down with an injury. Somehow, everyone forgot and mostly ignored Rondo this season. He ended up bouncing in and out of New Orleans starting 5 while averaging 8.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game. Came the playoffs everyone expected the fringe starter Rondo they saw in the regular season to translate to the playoffs. However, they forgot that Rondo is not the same player in the playoffs. Rondo averaged an incredible 12.8 points, 7 rebounds and 13.4 assists per game on 53.4 percent shooting in round 1 while cementing his status as a playoff hero. Let’s just say that next year, he probably won’t have to bounce in and out of any teams starting 5.