Where the Wildcats Are: Rounding out August in the NBA Bubble


Kentucky Wildcats forward Bam Adebayo slams home a dunk against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament South Regional Elite 8 at FedExForum in Memphis, TN on Friday March 24, 2017. Photo by Michael Reaves | Staff

Braden Ramsey

As Kentucky sports fans anxiously await the potential start of fall and winter sports, the spotlight shines on former University of Kentucky basketball players competing for a championship in the NBA restart at Disney World.

There are numerous Kentucky players participating in the playoff bubble. Notable performances from the last days of August are below. Check out which players are in the bubble and who played well in first round game one’s, game two’sgame three’s and game four’s.

Anthony Davis – Los Angeles Lakers, First Round Game Five

After a pour game one, Davis came up big each and every night for Los Angeles in its series with the Portland. With his team one victory away from advancing, “The Brow” continued his excellent play by putting up 43 points on 14-of-18 shooting (including 4-of-6 from three-point land) in exactly three quarters worth of play.

He also recorded nine rebounds and four assists in those 36 minutes, moving the Lakers into the Western Conference semifinals. They await the winner of the Rockets-Thunder battle, and will play next on Wednesday (if the Rockets win in six games) or Friday (if the series goes seven).

Jamal Murray – Denver Nuggets, First Round Game Six

The aforementioned Davis would have been the pick of many NBA fans to have the largest outputs among former Kentucky players in the first round. But that hasn’t been the case. As you have seen in previous Bubble stories, the Canadian guard has been at the top of his game and is the league’s biggest story through these opening series.

Murray added another superb outing to his list on Sunday, tallying 50 points for the second time, along with six assists and five rebounds to force a deciding game seven between his Nuggets and Donovan Mitchell’s Jazz.

Game seven is scheduled for Tuesday night at 8:30 on ESPN. The winning team will face the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.

Bam Adebayo – Miami Heat, Second Round Game One

A member of these pieces as frequently as Davis and Murray, 2017’s 14th overall pick has had as big of an impact for the Heat as any player in the Association can have night after night. Tasked with matching up against reigning – and potentially back-to-back – MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, one of the league’s preeminent superstars, Bam more than held his own.

He pulled down a whopping 17 rebounds, scored 12 points, dished out six assists and stole the ball twice in Miami’s surprising game one victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. Jimmy Butler carried the load with 40 points, but Adebayo played a strong second fiddle, and will need to continue those efforts throughout the series if Miami is to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Stay tuned for more on how former Cats contribute as they aid their teams’ quests for an NBA championship.

The NBA Playoff Bubble series is a subset of “Where the Wildcats Are”, a Kernel series diving into the professional careers and lives of former Wildcat athletes. Other articles in this ongoing series include the 2020 NFL Draft Preview.