The independent news organization of Duke University

Duke in the NBA: Redick and Tatum erupt in the playoffs

With the opening round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs underway, there are plenty of Blue Devils still in action—Duke leads all ACC teams with 12 alumni on current playoff rosters, and there certainly a number of guys putting up big numbers. The Blue Zone takes a look at just some of the Blue Devils doing work in the postseason:

Shooters shoot

When the 76ers signed J.J. Redick in the offseason, it was clear what his role would be, yet no one expected the 33-year-old to put up the best season of his career. After averaging nearly 20 points a night in the regular season, Redick came out firing in Philadelphia's playoff opener to the tune of 28 points with 8-of-8 shooting at the charity stripe. He also added four 3-pointers—the 76ers dropped a playoff franchise-record 18 treys in the Game 1 victory. 

But after Redick scored just 10 points Monday night and shot 1-of-7 from long distance, his team will need a bounce-back performance Thursday in Miami for Game 3.

Age is just a number

If anyone thought Jayson Tatum would be nervous going into his first-ever postseason games, think again. The Celtics' rookie played 44 minutes in a Game 1 that needed overtime for Boston to snatch a victory, and Tatum opened his playoff ledger with a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double. Although it wasn't the most efficient—Duke's most recent one-and-done needed 18 shots to make eight field goals—Tatum's offense came up big in the extra period.

He wasn't able to turn in the same type of numbers in Game 2, scoring just four points in a half-hour of action, but it was no problem as the Celtics cruised to a 14-point win and held home court to go up 2-0 in the series against Milwaukee. But Jabari Parker has struggled for the Bucks, scoring only two points thus far through 25 minutes combined in Games 1 and 2.

Waiting to break out

Other than Redick and Tatum, the rest of the ex-Blue Devils in the playoffs have yet to put up any big performances. Through two games, no other players have scored more than 14 total points. Justise Winslow has been important for the Heat in helping to physically defend Philadelphia's Ben Simmons, Quinn Cook is holding down some important minutes for the Warriors at the point with Steph Curry still sidelined and Rodney Hood could be the sidekick that LeBron James needs in Cleveland going forward.

Still with no standout performances, there isn't much to report. But with as many as four of the seven healthy Duke alums likely to advance, there will be chances for them to step up going forward.

Mitchell Gladstone | Sports Managing Editor

Twitter: @mpgladstone13

A junior from just outside Philadelphia, Mitchell is probably reminding you how the Eagles won the Super Bowl this year and that the Phillies are definitely on the rebound. Outside of The Chronicle, he majors in Economics, minors in Statistics and is working toward the PJMS certificate, in addition to playing trombone in the Duke University Marching Band. And if you're getting him a sandwich with beef and cheese outside the state of Pennsylvania, you best not call it a "Philly cheesesteak." 


Share and discuss “Duke in the NBA: Redick and Tatum erupt in the playoffs” on social media.