by Harry Porter | The NBA restart at Disney has felt like an overall success. There was a play-in game for the 8th seed that gave Damian Lillard a chance to rewrite his own playoff history. The Phoenix suns went 8-0 throughout the seeding games and were one of the most fun teams to watch. The Western Conference’s final seeds came down to the last games and the NBA decided to honor the top performers of the restart with individual awards. Here’s my take at the NBA Player of the Seeding Games, an All-Seeding Games Team and the Coach of the Seeding Games.
NBA Player of the Seeding Games: Damian Lillard, Portland Trailblazers
Dame Time has been in full effect during the NBA seeding games and he has written himself into the NBA history books. Damian single-handedly helped the Blazers to clinch a playoff berth today with a win over the nine seed Grizzlies. Dame was ridiculous inside the Bubble Seeding Games and averaged 37.6 points and 9.6 assists per game. He stepped his game up from the pre-pandemic NBA season and moved his team from 3.5 games out of the playoffs into the eight seed in the Western Conference.
Coach of the Seeding Games: Monty Williams, Phoenix Suns
The Suns were the heartwarming experience of the NBA restart. The Suns played without Kelly Oubre Jr. and went 8-0 in Orlando. They did everything in their power to qualify for a play-in game and Devin Booker continued to prove his status as an elite scorer. Even the Suns Social Media Team won the hearts of viewers with a touching surprise by having the players’ families introduce them during their penultimate seeding game. Monty Williams inspired his players to find a next level and had his team play as a cohesive unit. Monty has given hope to a team who hasn’t made the playoffs in ten years some. Phoenix just missed a berth in the play-in series, but Williams should be appropriately honored for their outstanding run in Florida.
NBA All-Seeding Games Team:
Guard: Damian Lillard, Portland Trailblazers
Guard: Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
Forward: T.J. Warren, Indiana Pacers
Forward: Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets
Center: Kristaps Porzingis, Dallas Mavericks
Honorable Mentions: Luka Dončić, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Gary Trent Jr.
Defensive Player of the Seeding Games: Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
We couldn’t finish an awards ceremony without giving some love to our Jazz so let’s give credit where credit is due to Rudy Gobert for being the two time defensive player of the year. He has stiff competition from other finalists Anthony Davis and The Greek Freak but he is our pick to win the award yet again. He is the right choice and voter fatigue seems to be the only thing that can get in his way.
Let us know what you think of our picks and be sure to tune into Game 1 of the Jazz vs Nuggets at 11:30 AM MST on Monday on ESPN.