Bradley Beal (2011-2012), Washington Wizards
Beal had an excellent series as he lead his Wizards to a 4-1 series win over the Chicago Bulls. He scored at least 13 points in all five games, including 26 in the 101-99 overtime win in Game Two. In Game Three, Beal scored 25 points to become the sixth player in NBA history to have two 25 point games before the age of 21. He joins an impressive list of Magic Johnson, Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, Harrison Barnes and Brandon Jennings. Overall, Beal averaged 19.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1 steal, shot 45.5% (10-22) from three point range, and had three blocks throughout the series. He stepped up in the clutch as well, hitting big time shots and improving on every one of his regular season averages in his first taste of the playoffs.
Matt Bonner (1999-2003), San Antonio Spurs
To say Bonner was used sparingly is nice. He played a total of 31 minutes throughout the Spurs seven game series win against the Dallas Mavericks and had a total of 6 points and 1 assist. Bonner could still be an asset for San Antonio on a deep playoff run because of his ability to shoot the three. Right now, however, the Spurs will face the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Corey Brewer (2004-2007), Minnesota Timberwolves
Brewer’s T’Wolves missed the playoffs for the 10th straight year. Brewer missed the postseason for the first time since the 2009-10 season during his first stint with Minnesota. He made the playoffs every year he was with the Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets.
Nick Calathes (2007-2009), Memphis Grizzlies
Calathes was suspended 20 games with less than 24 hours from the start of the Grizzlies First Round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Calathes tested positive for Tamoxifen. Tamoxifen isn’t a PED, but is used to mask other substances, including synthetic testosterone. He is appealing the suspension, saying, “[It was] an over-the-counter supplement to treat a private but common medical condition.” It’s been suggested that the substance was Rogaine, used to stop hair loss and stimulate hair growth. Calathes might have proved to be the missing piece, providing depth at the point guard position that was desperately needed after starting PG Mike Conley went down with an injury in Game Six.
Mike Miller (1998-2000), Memphis Grizzlies
Miller was an absolute spark off the bench for Memphis, shooting 48.3% (14-29) from beyond the arc throughout the Grizzlies First Round seven game series loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. He was key in the Grizz’s Game Five win, scoring 21 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals to put Memphis up 3-2. Miller averaged 7.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 24.9 minutes over the entire series.
Udonis Haslem (1998-2002), Miami Heat
Haslem’s Heat swept the Charlotte Bobcats in Miami’s First Round series. For the defending champs, Haslem averaged 2 points and 4 boards with two assists and two steals coming off the bench throughout the series. Miami will face the Brooklyn Nets in the Second Round of the playoffs.
Al Horford (2004-2007), Atlanta Hawks
Horford missed the Hawks First Round series after undergoing season-ending surgery to repair his right pectoral muscle. Atlanta nearly pulled off the series win, taking a 3-2 lead into Game Six. The top-seeded Indiana Pacers ended up winning in seven games to advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
David Lee (2001-2005), Golden State Warriors
Lee had a solid series for Golden State in the Warriors seven game series loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. He posted double-doubles in games one, five, and seven, with his best game being the 20 points, 13 rebound effort in the series-opening game. Against a much bigger LA team, Lee struggled to hit his season averages. Over the entire series, he averaged 13.9 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists while shooting 53.2% (41-77) from the field.
Marreese Speights (2006-2008), Golden State Warriors
Speights only put in about 10 minutes per game, but managed to score 10 and 12 points in the final two games of the First Round loss to the Clippers. He averaged 6.3 points and 3.1 rebounds, and added three assists and four steals coming off the bench.
Erik Murphy (2009-2013), Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz missed the playoffs with the NBA’s fourth-worst record.
Joakim Noah (2004-2007), Chicago Bulls
It was a tough First Round series for Noah. His heavily favored Bulls lost to the Washington Wizards in five games. He did what he normally does, putting up three double-doubles in five games, including a 20 point, 12 rebound effort in Game Two. Noah also added 18 rebounds in the decisive Game Five. Over the entire series, Noah averaged 10.4 points, 12.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.4 blocks, and 1.0 steals. After having a sore left knee throughout the second half of the season, Noah underwent arthroscopic surgery after the series to clean out that left knee. He’s expected to be ready for the start of next season as the recovery time is 8-12 weeks.
Chandler Parsons (2007-2011), Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets couldn’t manage to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers as they lost the First Round Series 3-2. Parsons struggled in games two and five, but managed to notch 26 points and 8 rebounds en route to improving upon his season averages. Overall, he averaged 19.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.3 assists over the six game series. Parsons could become a restricted free agent if Houston doesn’t pick up his option for the 2014-15 season. It’s expected the Rockets will let him test the waters, with the favorite to sign him being his hometown Orlando Magic.