Skyforce Alums Still Alive in NBA Playoff Hunt
The NBA Conference semifinals are underway and if you want a dog in the hunt that has a connection to the Sioux Falls Skyforce, you’re still in luck.
After the Philadelphia 76ers dispatched the Miami Heat in 5 games in the opening round, a huge chunk of former Skyforce players also made their exit. Also keep in mind that three-fifths of Miami’s starting lineup used to play for the ‘Force.
Josh Richardson was the most productive of those aforementioned starters, scoring 8.4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and a block per game. Tyler Johnson hit for 8 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in his starting role. Hassan Whiteside’s line had 5.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks accumulated. The one non-starter was Rodney McGruder who appeared in four games for the Heat during the series hitting one of his four shots in his first taste of postseason play.
On the joyful side of that matchup was the Sixers’ Amir Johnson who continues in his seventh NBA postseason. For Philadelphia the former Skyforce assignee started one of the five games in which he appeared averaging 5.2 points, 4 rebounds and 1.4 assists. Now Johnson squares off against the Celtics who he helped to the Eastern Conference finals last year.
One more note from the Eastern Conference as Cleveland has a former Skyforce player on the bench as well worth noting. Okaro White who has been injured for the majority of the season was signed by the Cavaliers to a couple 10-day contracts in March, then signed for the season on April 7. However, White has not participated in any game action during that time.
The Portland/New Orleans series also had Skyforce alums on both sides as Shabazz Napier’s season ended with the Blazers, while DeAndre Liggins plays on with the Pelicans. Erik McCree is still on a 2-way contract with the Utah Jazz and will witness that playoff run from a pretty good position.