When you’re talking about any sport, it’s always the winners who are remembered. That means that as a bare minimum you want to be reaching the end of the season.
Unfortunately, not everybody can and that often sees some really hot talents miss out at the business end of the campaign. Here we talk them up with a look at the best players of the season who missed the NBA playoffs.
Number 5. Domantas Sabonis
The first name on our list of the best players of the season who missed the NBA playoffs is Domantas Sabonis; the poor guy just can’t catch a break – neither can his team. The Indiana Pacers and Sabonis always seem to have the talent necessary to make the playoffs but all too often injuries come and derail their season entirely.
Sabonis remained a positive takeaway for the Pacers this season though. He averaged 19.4 points, 12.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. On top of that he also shot 54% from the field. When you watch Sabonis play basketball, he’s just an all round good player; it doesn’t matter if it’s passing, rebounding, defending or scoring but he can’t do it all by himself.
Number 4. Nikola Vucevic
Nikola Vucevic spent half of the season on the Orlando Magic before being traded to the Chicago Bulls. Neither side had much to shout about; they both ended up underperforming against their expectations and missed the playoffs entirely meaning Vucevic’s performances were absolutely no use.
On a personal front, Vucevic turned in many impressive displays. He posted averages of 23.4 points and 11.7 rebounds and recorded a 40% three point shot conversion; that’s shooting efficiency that you don’t often get from centers. Vucevic might have ranked higher up this list but for his defensive struggles.
Number 3. Zach LaVine
Next up is a man who has spent years being written off as ‘just a dunker’ but how wrong people were about Zach LaVine; he has developed into so much more than that. This season was yet another step forward for the 26-year-old Bulls guard. As mentioned when talking about Vucevic, the team was pretty woeful all year despite a few mid-season trades, but LaVine continued to deliver the goods.
Game averages of 27.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.9 assists with a 51% field goal accuracy make for good reading; In fact, they were enough to generate respect around the league and even saw him make it to the All-Star game. LaVine is beginning to flourish under Billy Donovan and, as such, it might be he gets even better
Number 2. Zion Williamson
Zion Williamson was one of the very few positives of the New Orleans Pelicans disastrous season. Williamson was fantastic throughout the year even though he was the sole focus point of the opposing teams defensive game plan.
Even with all that extra attention he delivered a seriously impressive 27.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. His shot percentage of 61% is pretty ridiculous too.
When you consider Williamson is in just his second season in the NBA after going as the first overall pick in 2019, the level of his performances are truly bonkers. Imagine if the Pelicans lost him…eek!
Number 1. Steph Curry
Sitting top of our list of the best players of the season who missed the NBA playoffs is obviously Steph Curry; at least his place here should be obvious.
Curry has earned a legendary status that he is even included in the top best point guards of NBA history, even though he is still active. He is second, just behind Magic Johnson in this list from TwinSpires Edge: https://edge.twinspires.com/nba/the-best-point-guards-in-nba-history/
Given the way Curry performed throughout the season, the fact he missed out on the post season is almost enough to bring us to tears. The Golden State Warriors were without Klay Thompson and the rest of their role players simply weren’t good enough.
Curry meanwhile has been a star. He led the scoring charts with 32 points per game as he established himself as one of the best three point shooters in NBA history; what did that three point haul actually look like? He sank 337 in just 63 games!! How on earth could he not top our list?
There you have it, the best players of the season who missed the NBA playoffs. Who did we miss?