At the beginning of the 2014 NBA Playoffs, who would have ever thought that the Atlanta Hawks, an eight seed, would ever lead the No. 1 seeded Indiana Pacers three games to two as of Tuesday, April 29 as their best-of-seven first round series rolls on? Well, it’s happening, thanks in large part to several former Utah Jazz players.
Paul Millsap was a great sixth man before developing into a starter for the Jazz in his time here -- and now in his first season in Atlanta, Millsap has become an NBA All-Star. But Millsap has not only become an All-Star caliber player in Hotlanta, he’s become a force for the Pacers to reckon with in these playoffs. An off night for Millsap -- like the one he had Monday -- meant he only had 18 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots.
He’s not the only former Jazzman to have a scintillating series, either. Fellow Hawk and former Jazzman DeMarre Carroll is putting up double figures and they might as well close the basket for Kyle Korver too -- because the Hawks player is shooting insanely well from three point land.
Several former Jazz point guards are also doing very well for themselves -- and their teams -- at the 2014 NBA Playoffs. Many had left Deron Williams for dead in Brooklyn, but he is surprising people in his first round series.
Down in Dallas, Devin Harris is getting quality minutes for the Mavericks as they tussle with mighty San Antonio. And in Portland, Mo Williams proves age is not a number -- nor is it for Derek Fisher who will turn 40 soon.
Yet those are only several of your former Jazz players lighting it up in the playoffs. Click on the photos to see how they all are doing thus far -- because even though you don‘t want to admit it, Jazz fans, you care.
Paul Millsap, Atlanta Hawks
Boy, are the Jazz regretting letting him go. How could they not be? After all, he’s averaging 21 points per game in the first round of these playoffs against Indiana -- and posted a monster 29-point game in Game 4. And did you know he could shoot threes? Well, he’s hitting them in this series.
DeMarre Carroll, Atlanta Hawks
Perhaps the biggest surprise of these playoffs has been Carroll, who never got off to a solid start in Utah -- but has exploded in Hotlanta. Maybe it’s the weather, and maybe it’s the system. Whatever it is, Carroll is thriving in his best season as a pro (11 points, six rebounds) and is about to get paid in full for his many contributions.
Kyle Korver, Atlanta Hawks
People complained about Korver being too old at his last stop in Chicago. (We have all seen how well things are going for another great shooter, or Jimmer, in a Bulls uniform.) Korver has shut everyone up to infinity and beyond this year, averaging 11 points in the playoffs while shooting 41 percent from behind the three point line.
Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets
Just when you thought THIS guy was done too, this former All-Star comes back with a monster series, averaging over 17 points and six dimes per game in Brooklyn’s series versus Toronto -- and he had a 22-point, 8-assist outing versus the Raptors in Game 3.
Andrei Kirilenko, Brooklyn Nets
How many NBA players' wives just opened a HOOTERS restaurant in Moscow, Russia? This guy’s wife did. And though he hasn’t left the bench much in the Nets series versus Toronto, that news alone is enough to get him a mention in this article. Bravo for capitalism!
Al Jefferson, Charlotte Bobcats
Jefferson’s time in the playoffs came to a screeching halt after LeBron and Co. derailed the Bobcats hopes of an upset in the first round with a 4-game sweep. But Jefferson came correct, averaging 19 points per game in the first three games before being sidelined with plantar fascitis, the same ailment that weakened him in Utah.
Carlos Boozer, Chicago Bulls
Booz is definitely at the end of his NBA career, as the former All-Star is now averaging just nine points and eight rebounds per game for Chicago in the playoffs. Not only that, his Bulls are down 3-1 to lowly Washington and must win Game 5 to stay alive. Is that karma? Ask Jazz fans.
Devin Harris, Dallas Mavericks
Harris has become a thorn in the San Antonio Spurs hind quarters this series, averaging 11 points and five assists for the Mavs who are making things awfully interesting in this in-state, first-round showdown. He’s also getting about 24 minutes per game -- all of which are up from his season totals. And, all of which will please Mark Cuban.
Derek Fisher, Oklahoma City Thunder
The player Jazz fans love to hate -- for good reason -- is doing his usual for the Thunder, who are currently embroiled in a dogfight with the Memphis Grizzlies in their first-round series. Fisher is posting four points and some scrappy play in 14 minutes per outing for OKC as his 17-year NBA career appears to be at its end and he is near the big 4-0.
Wesley Matthews, Portland Trail Blazers
He kind of struggled in Games 2 and 3 of this series with Houston but in Game 4 Matthews was macking it big time. He put up 21 points and had four rebounds and four steals -- including a pivotal pick-pocketing late -- in the Blazers marathon win over the Rockets -- which gave Portlandia a 3-1 lead. Break out the Voodoo Donuts -- cause this series is about to go maple bacon glazed, baby!
Mo Williams, Portland Trail Blazers
Williams is dropping it like it’s hot up in the Pacific Northwest in this playoff series against Houston. His scoring numbers are up from his season totals and so are his minutes -- as he’s logging about half the game on the court. Across the board he’s contributing, averaging 10 points, 3 dimes and 3 ribbies. He’s also contributing three fouls per game -- but hey, he isn’t fouling out, right?