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There were some outstanding performances in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, and those players deserve some recognition

Image for article titled There were some outstanding performances in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, and those players deserve some recognition
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As well as Tatum played in that first round, the MVP has to go to Jalen Brunson. This is a player who has never averaged 20 points per game in a season, and he averaged 27.8 on 48.4 percent shooting against the Jazz. Again, he became the focal point of the series after the 41-point outburst in Game 2. Then with all of the arrows and circles and clicker lasers pointed towards him, he returned with a 31-point game to show that he is for real.

The Mavericks were not a big three, or a one-two punch going into this postseason. They were an improved defense, some capable supplemental scores, and Dončić. Brunson, at his 6-foot-1 stature, stepped into Dončić’s shoes and led the Mavericks to their first playoff series win in over a decade. Yes, Dončić returned to close the show, but without Brunson, the show is over long before Dončić is able to return to the stage and give the final soliloquy. Brunson filled a role that no one ever thought that he would be able to in the NBA, and for that he is the MVP of the first round.

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