Three Former Tigers Open NBA Playoffs On Saturday

by Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Three Former Tigers Open NBA Playoffs On Saturday

BATON ROUGE – Three former LSU Tigers will take part in the NBA playoffs which get under way with four games on Saturday.

Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers, Jarell Martin of the Orlando Magic and Garrett Temple of the Los Angeles Clippers are expected to be in action Saturday when their teams open the first game of the best-of-7 first round sets.

Simmons and the 76ers will open the playoffs at home against the Brooklyn Nets at 1:30 p.m. CT on ESPN. Simmons averaged 16.9 points per game, 8.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game in a year in which he averaged 34.2 minutes per game with a field goal percentage of 56.3%. Simmons is in his second year of playing professionally after earning national Freshman of the Year honors in 2016 and this will be his second playoff appearance.

Martin and his new team this season, the Orlando Magic will be opening on the road at Toronto in a game set for 4 p.m. on ESPN. Martin played in 42 games, averaging 2.7 points per game and 1.7 rebounds. He averaged 7.8 minutes per game. This will be his third playoff appearance, having appeared in five combined games with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2016 and 2017.

LSU’s active veteran NBA player, Temple, is playing with his second team this year and his Los Angeles Clippers will open the playoffs on Saturday at 7 p.m. on ABC against the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Temple, in his ninth NBA season, is averaging 4.7 points per game, 2.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists, while averaging 19.6 minutes per game.

Temple played 26 games with the Clippers, after 49 games with the Memphis Grizzlies where he was traded before the season from Sacramento. For the 75 total games he averaged 7.8 points and 2.9 rebounds. He has appeared in three previous NBA playoffs.

Simmons and the 76ers along with Temple and Clippers will play game two in their series on Monday night on TNT, while Orlando and Martin’s second game with Toronto will be on Tuesday night on TNT. Depending on the length of the series, the first round of the NBA playoffs could run through April 28.