With the regular season complete and the playoffs starting this weekend, let’s take a look at how each former Longhorn performed in the NBA this season. Six of the 10 NBA Longhorns will be competing in this years postseason. Two first round playoff matchups involve Texas Exes on both sides. Kevin Durant is looking to become a back-to-back NBA Champion and Finals MVP.
LaMarcus Aldridge (SA-PF):
23.1 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 2 APG, 1.2 BPG, 1.5 TO, 51% FG%, 29% 3PT%, 84% FT%, 33.5 MPG
After asking head coach Gregg Popovich to be traded over the offseason, Aldridge’s role in the Spurs offense became vital this season. In his 12th season, Aldridge averaged near career high numbers in points per game and field goal percentage. He made his sixth all-star game appearance this year, as well. Without Kawhi Leonard all season, Aldridge has taken on a larger role, which has quietly been a blessing in disguise for him. He’ll have to continue to play at a high level and maybe at his highest for the Spurs to have a chance against the Warriors in the first round.
Jarrett Allen (BKN-C):
8.2 PPG, 5.4 RPG, .7 APG, 1.2 BPG, 1.1 TO, 59% FG%, 33% 3PT%, 78% FT%, 20 MPG
Allen took advantage of his playing time and worked his way up Nets frontcourt rotation as a rookie. A struggling Timothy Mozgov and Tyler Zeller being traded led to Allen serving as the starting center for the last 31 games of the season. Allen led all NBA rookies in field-goal percentage and blocks per game. After shooting just around 56-percent at the free throw line in college, he improved his free throw shooting significantly by shooting just about 21-percent better this year in the NBA. It’s clear Allen exceeded the expectations of many in his rookie campaign. He might of had the dunk of the year with this poster over fellow rookie Lauri Markennen. Allen has a solid chance to make this years All-Rookie First Team.
D.J. Augustin (ORL-PG):
10.2 PPG, 3.8 APG, 2.1 RPG, .7 SPG, 1.6 TO, 45% FG%, 42% 3PT%, 87% FT%, 23.5 MPG
In his second season with the Orlando Magic, Augustin was more efficient in almost every single stat category compared to last season. His 42 percent clip from three was good for his best three-point percentage since his rookie season. After Elfrid Payton was traded to the Suns, Augustin became the starting point guard for the rest of the season. The 30-year-old veteran continues to produce regardless of which team he suits up for.
Avery Bradley (DET/LAC-SG):
14.3 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 2 APG, 1.1 SPG, 2.2 TO, 41% FG%, 37% 3PT%, 77% FT%, 31.2 MPG
After being traded from Boston to Detroit in the offseason, Bradley seemed ready to take on a bigger role with a new team. The new fit didn’t work out as planned in Detroit and he was traded at the trade deadline to the Clippers. Six games into his Clippers career, he suffered an abdominal injury and was forced to miss the rest of the regular season due to surgery. After going through the toughest year of his eight-year career, Bradley becomes an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Kevin Durant (GSW-SF):
26.4 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 5.4 APG, 1.8 BPG, 3 TO, 52% FG%, 42% 3PT%, 89% FT%, 34.2 MPG
For the 10th time in the last 11 seasons, Durant surpassed the 25 points per game mark. He made his ninth all-star game appearance and earned his seventh all-star game start. Durant finished fifth in the league with just under 1.8 blocks per game, which was good for a new career-high average. The numbers continue to be impressive for one of the best in the game. Now, last year’s NBA Finals MVP embarks on another journey for his second consecutive NBA Championship and Finals MVP trophy.
Cory Joseph (IND-PG):
7.9 PPG, 3.2 APG, 3.2 RPG, 1 SPG, 1.1 TO, 42% FG%, 35% 3PT%, 75% FT%, 27 MPG
The Pacers acquired Joseph from the Raptors in an offseason trade. Joseph has been a nice complement to starting point guard Darren Collison. Joseph has always been known for his defense in the NBA and it has paid dividends to the Pacers off the bench. He played in all 82 regular season games. His shooting numbers for the year are right around his career average shooting numbers, a typical Cory Joseph season.
Isaiah Taylor (ATL-PG):
6.6 PPG, 3.1 APG, 1.4 RPG, .5 SPG, 1.3 TO, 42% FG%, 25% 3PT%, 70% FT%, 17.4 MPG
Taking the G-League path to the NBA worked out perfectly and paid off for Taylor. After signing a two-year contract with the Hawks just before the season began, he was set up for a backup point guard role. An opportunity to learn behind Dennis Schroeder and get valuable minutes on a bottom-of-the-league NBA team was crucial for Taylor. Down the stretch, he scored in double digits eight times in his last 11 games, including a career-high 26 points against Houston.
Tristan Thompson (CLE-PF):
5.8 PPG, 6.6 RPG, .6 APG, .3 BPG, .7 TO, 56% FG%, 54% FT%, 20.2 MPG
With the emergence of Larry Nance at the center position, Thompson has seen his playing time dwindle down more than ever this season. 5.8 points per game is a new career-low for Thompson. Being a liability on the offensive end and at the free throw line has plagued him with his decrease in minutes. Thompson’s defensive energy and his presence as an offensive rebounder will be key once again for the Cavaliers this postseason.
P. J. Tucker (HOU-SF):
6.1 PPG, 5.6 RPG, .9 APG, 1 SPG, .9 TO, 39% FG%, 37% 3PT%, 72% FT%, 27.8 MPG
The 39 percent field goal success rate is a career-low for Tucker. But, his 37-percent three-point percentage is good for his second-best season in that category. Tucker’s role has mostly been to come off the bench and thrive on the defensive end and on the glass. His role will be a little more significant in the first round of the playoffs with wing player Luc Mbah a Moute out. The Rockets have one of the best benches in the NBA and they are very deep at the wing position.
Myles Turner (IND-PF):
12.7 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.8 BPG, 1.5 TO, 48% FG%, 36% 3PT%, 78% FT%, 28.2 MPG
Turner’s third season got off to a slow start after suffering a concussion one game in. While only playing in 65 games, Turner’s 1.8 blocks per game was third in the league. The emergence of Victor Oladipo and Darren Collison sparked the Pacers into playing better team basketball, which led to a five-seed in the East — three seeds better than last year when they had Paul George. But yes, they draw LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the first round again. Turner has had the time of his life on the court this season.
This the most fun I’ve ever had playing basketball love this group! #notfinished— Myl3s Turn3r (@Original_Turner) April 1, 2018
Former Longhorn Kendal Yancy won a G-League Championship with the hometown Austin Spurs, the affiliate for the San Antonio Spurs.
1 Toronto Raptors vs. 8 Washington Wizards
4 Cleveland Cavaliers (PF Tristan Thompson vs. 5 Indiana Pacers (PG Cory Joseph, PF Myles Turner)
3 Philadelphia Sixers vs. 6 Miami Heat
2 Boston Celtics vs. 7 Milwaukee Bucks
1 Houston Rockets (SF P. J. Tucker) vs. 8 Minnesota Timberwolves
4 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. 5 Utah Jazz
3 Portland Trail Blazers vs. 6 New Orleans Pelicans
2 Golden State Warriors (SF Kevin Durant) vs. 7 San Antonio Spurs (PF LaMarcus Aldridge)
Stats via basketball-reference.com