Where the Wildcats Are: NBA Playoff Bubble, First Round Game Three’s and Four’s


Kentucky Wildcats forward Bam Adebayo blocks a three pointer by Wichita State Shockers guard Landry Shamet with 0.5 seconds in the second round game of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Photo by Michael Reaves | Staff

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 game three’s and four’s are below. You can see which players are in the bubble and who had significant game one’s contributions here, and game two’s here.


Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers

Davis has proven himself to be one of the best teammates that LeBron James has had in his illustrious career. When the dynamic duo is on the floor together, they are very difficult to stop. Against a Portland team with a lethal big-man duo of Jusuf Nurkic and Hassan Whiteside, Davis has incorporated more mid-range work to maximize the available space between the three-point line and the paint. Davis posted 29 points, eleven rebounds and eight assists as the Lakers claimed a 2-1 series lead on Portland.

Tyler Herro, Miami Heat

Herro has been remarkably consistent through his first three playoff games. As a rookie on a team loaded with experienced guards, Herro has played just as many minutes, if not more, than anyone on the roster. In game three, Herro scored 20 points and grabbed three rebounds, shooting 50% from the field as the Heat went up 3-0 over the Pacers.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder

The NBA community was quick to write off Oklahoma City’s regular season as a fluke as the Rockets took games one and two. But in game three, the tune changed.

SGA had with a stellar performance to help the Thunder climb back into the series. The second-year guard had 23 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals in the OKC 119-107 overtime win. He also showed how clutch he can be by nailing a three-pointer in the final seconds of regulation to put the Thunder in front.

Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat

While Herro has been making solid contributions, Bam has started taking the next step toward superstardom. He put up 22 points, eleven rebounds and five assists in Miami’s convincing game three victory, working as a force on the interior. While box score tallies capture some of Adebayo’s contributions, they don’t fully encapsulate his presence on the court. His ability to switch onto any player out of the pick-and-roll is very valuable in the modern NBA.


Former Cats have continued their strong play as the playoffs have rolled on. Multiple players racked up big numbers at the halfway point of the series, including a first round pick who combined with an old rival to make history.

Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets

Following two very poor performances in the games two and three, the Nuggets found themselves down 2-1 in their series with the Utah Jazz as they took the floor Sunday night. Needing a win, Murray aimed to propel Denver to victory the same way he did in game one. He hit multiple three-pointers down the stretch, keeping the Nuggets within striking distance as the clock wound down. But his squad ultimately fell short, losing 129-127 in regulation.

While the result was disappointing for Denver, Murray’s output was spectacular. He finished with a whopping 50 points, including 21 in the final quarter, going 18-of-31 from the field and 9-of-15 from behind the arc. He added eleven rebounds and seven assists for potentially his finest outing as a pro.

With former Cardinal Donovan Mitchell pouring in 51 points, the Denver-Utah game four was the first time in NBA playoff history that opposing players scored 50-plus points in the same game. The Nuggets face elimination in game five against the Jazz this evening, with tip set for 6:30 on TNT.

Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers

Another common mention in this space, Davis and the Lakers didn’t mess around Monday night. Los Angeles fell to the Blazers on January 31st when the two played in the Lakers’ first game after the death of Kobe Bryant, but presented with a chance at redemption, on Kobe Day (8/24) of all days, you knew the team would come out with a fire. They led Portland by 18 after the first quarter, and twenty-nine at halftime, ultimately cruising to a 135-115 win to go up 3-1 in the series.

“The Brow” played to his usual high standard, putting in 18 points, five rebounds, five assists and two blocks. But he exited after only 18 minutes on the court, and did not return, reportedly due to back spasms. As common as it is for fans to see Davis finish alley-oops and nail mid-range jumpers, him sitting on the bench has also become familiar. He has not been ruled out of Wednesday’s game five, but his status will be one to watch as the Lakers go for their first title since 2010.

Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro, Miami Heat

The UK version of “The Heatles” continued its strong bubble showing in Sunday’s contest. Adebayo recorded his third double-double (14 points, 19 rebounds) of the first round, while Herro added 16 points, five boards and four dimes, hitting some big shots in the second half when Indiana was attempting its comeback.

Bam and Herro have showed up frequently in this space already, and after helping the Heat sweep the Pacers, we’ll likely see more quality numbers from them in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

CAT STATUS (AS OF 8/25/20)

Cats Moving On: Enes Kanter, Boston Celtics; Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat; Tyler Herro, Miami Heat

Cats Nearing Advancement (Lead 3-1): Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers; Rajon Rondo, Los Angeles Lakers

Cats in Even Series (Tied 2-2): Shai-Gilgeous Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder; Nerlens Noel, Oklahoma City Thunder; Hamidou Diallo, Oklahoma City Thunder; Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Dallas Mavericks; Patrick Patterson, Los Angeles Clippers

Cats on the Brink (Trail 3-1): Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets; Wenyen Gabriel, Portland Trail Blazers

Cats Headed Home: None