NBA Playoffs Player Rankings – STUDS & DUDS of the 1st round

We present the Shoot or Pass Podcast’s version of NBA Playoffs Player Rankings

Check out our Studs and Duds from the first round of the NBA Playoffs so far! A new episode of the Shoot or Pass Podcast is out! Chevy and Rhoby are joined by Josh from The Dime podcast to share their version of NBA Playoffs player rankings in a segment called Studs and Duds. Find out below who are the Studs and Duds from the first round of the NBA playoffs so far!


Josh – Luka Doncic

I am picking the obvious here. The top player in the NBA Playoffs player rankings so far has got to be Luka Doncic, right? Especially after how he played yesterday against the Clippers. He hit a GAME-WINNING three as time was expiring. Furthermore, he was playing without his 2nd option, Kristaps Porzingis, who was out with an injury. He put on a show and is consistently putting up record numbers in his first NBA playoff series. This man is UNBELIEVABLE!

Honestly, his ceiling may just be as the best player of all time. In 15 to 20 years, we may be talking about Luka Doncic as the best player to ever touch a basketball. Frankly, there is no reason why a 21 year old should be THIS good. I thought I was decent at playing basketball growing up, but he makes me feel insecure. After this performance, I may never want to touch a basketball again.

Rhoby – Goran Dragic

I have been waiting very patiently for the right moment to name a HEAT player as my top ranked NBA player. The time is NOW. There is some BIG DRAGON ENERGY spitting fire in this HEAT-Pacers series. From coming off the bench and leading the 2nd unit off the bench during the regular season, to starting nod in place of Kendrick Nunn in the playoffs.

He’s had a couple of slow starts, but man has he been clutch for us at the helm as a shooter, facilitator, defender. He even brought Jimmy Butler back to life with CPR, a BONAFIDE LEADER! My stud of the week pick goes to the Dragon, the Slovenian Cockmeister – Goran Dragic. I cannot believe people out there were aiming to trade this guy before the season started. Sincerely, I hope he retires as a HEAT player. This man is the definition of STUD so far in the playoffs!

Chevy – Nikola Vucevic

I am going with a homer pick for my top ranked NBA player in the playoffs thus far. My stud of the week pick is the only All-Star on his team, Nikola Vucevic. Vuc, if you are reading this, I AM SORRY none of your teammates are stepping up to help you win another game against the Bucks. He is averaging 29 points and 9.7 rebounds per game in this series.

Furthermore, he is shooting 55% from the field and literally carrying this Orlando Magic team without their other star, Jonathan Isaac, who is out for the season with a torn ACL. With a healthy roster to help him, I am confident Vucevic can lead the Magic to push this series to 6-7 games. Unfortunately, it is looking the Magic will not make it past the first round of the playoffs.


Josh and Chevy – Paul George


I picked the Los Angeles Clippers to win it all. Currently, they find themselves tied in this first round playoff series with the Dallas Mavericks. This is in large part due to Pandemic P, better known as, Paul George. Let’s go over the stats in his last three games:

  • In a Clippers loss to Mavericks – GAME 2: 4-17, 14 points
  • For a Clippers victory vs. Dallas – GAME 3: 3-16, 11 points
  • In another losing effort – GAME 4: 3-14, 9 points
  • OVERALL this series: 5-25 from beyond the arch

That is disgusting, especially for a man you traded for in an effort to lure Kawhi Leonard to Los Angeles. The point of bringing him there is to be the #2 option, to hit big shots and he is not doing either. Consequently, he is not spreading the floor and therefore, limiting the offense by not touching the ball.


To add, Paul George expresses in an interview that he is no James Harden. We know you’re no James Harden! Pandemic P is averaging 11.3 points per game in this series. For a guy who is averaging 21 points per game and is still in his prime, this performance is unacceptable. He may be doing other things on the floor, but, that is not enough!

Rhoby – Mike Malone

Initially, I was going to go with Tobias Harris, but I cannot go after a guy who is injured and frankly, Philadelphia has enough takes from me.

My dud of the week pick is going to be Mike Malone. His team, the Denver Nuggets, have lost by 19 points in Game 2, and a whopping 37 points in Game 3. To top it all off, you can tell his players are frustrated, look dejected, and continuously make careless mistakes. What does he do? Sit on the bench and pray.

The Nuggets have been outscored 109-68 in the third quarter, and if it weren’t for an 8 sec violation by Donovan Mitchell in Game 1, the Nuggets would be facing a potential sweep Sunday night. Whoever he is praying to must be answering him with two words – MAKE ADJUSTMENTS.

You know your team is not great defensively, but you have an offense that is capable of beating the Jazz. So, where are the adjustments? Get the ball to Michael Porter Jr. Give us more BOL BOL. Find ways to get the lethal Jokic/Murray two-man game going. You worked so hard to position yourself to play the Jazz in this series. Do not let the Jazz outplay you!

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