Biggest stars we're missing in the 2017 NBA Playoffs
Western Conference forward Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans (23 ) holds up his MVP trophy after the NBA All-Star basketball game in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)
In a perfect world, all great NBA players would be in the Playoffs, but, alas, reality doesn't work that way.
And while most of the league's best and brightest will continue to strut their stuff in the postseason, there are those who have unfortunately missed out. Some of these notable players have probably gone fishing or are sipping adult beverages on a tropical island, but it would be a pretty good wager to say that all of them would rather be playing for the title right now.
Some of these studs are on teams that barely missed the top eight in their conference. Some are on teams that are in it for the long run, choosing to lose now and win later (provided they can pick good rookies and win in free agency). Some are just victims of unfortunate circumstances, trapped in franchises that are swirling in turmoil.
Let's look at some of the biggest stars we're missing right now in the 2017 NBA Playoffs.
Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)
Here we have a guy whose numbers are good enough to place him in the MVP conversation, but whose team is just stuck in a rut. The 6'11” monster from Chicago, Illinois put up 28.0 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game this season while making 50.5% of his field goals. Pairing him with another All-Star big man, DeMarcus Cousins, should have been enough to carry the Pels to the postseason, but things just fell through. Here's to hoping that the twin towers find better chemistry next season.
Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Towns and Co. were heralded as a playoff contender prior to the start of the 2016-2017 season, but they were plagued by injuries and inconsistent play. Towns, though, remains as solid as hell, and he is still among the most promising young talents on the planet. I mean, look at his numbers — 25.1 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per outing while making more than 54% of his field goals. KAT is an alpha dog (or wolf?) on the league's team of the future. I guess it's just fitting that they unveiled a new logo to end the season.
Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks)
I don't know about you, but watching the Playoffs without Dirk in any matchup is just straight up weird. He is one of the greatest power forwards to ever play the game, and maybe even the best non-American to ever don an NBA kit. The Dunking Deutschman entered the league in 1998, and since then he has been in all but four postseasons. How's that for longevity and consistency? And even if he's already 39, don't sleep on his 2016-2017 numbers — 14.2 points, 6.5 boards, and 1.5 triples per contest for the Mavs.
Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets)
Walker was an All-Star this season for the first time in his career, and it would have been a fairy tale ending had the Hornets made it to the Playoffs like they did in 2016. Sadly, a five-game losing streak to end the season all but snuffed out any chances of their barging into the postseason party. Still, Walker has nothing to be ashamed about. He was among the best guards (bar none!) during theregular season, and he had career-high offensive stats — 23.2 points per game, 39.9% 3FG shooting, and 84.7% FT accuracy.
Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)
Gotta feel for Melo, right? He still registered great stats this past season — 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game — but the Knicks just haven't been able to rise from all the drama and distractions surrounding the organization. Of course, by now, we’ve all heard team president Phil Jackson’s latest Melo comments, insinuating that the ten-time All-Star should just jump ship and allow the Knicks to have a total rebuild. The Syracuse alum will turn 33 soon, and if he wants a strong and fitting swan song to a storied career, maybe he should heed the Zen Master's advice and just, well, ditch the Empire State of Mind.
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