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The Brotherhood takes on the 2018 NBA Playoffs

Duke is all over these NBA playoffs

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Miami Heat v Philadelphia 76ers - Game One
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 14: JJ Redick #17 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts in the third quarter against the Miami Heat during Game One of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoff at Wells Fargo Center on April 14, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 76ers defeated the Heat 130-103.
Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The 2018 NBA Playoffs kicked off in spectacular fashion this past weekend, with 4 games on Saturday and 4 on Sunday involving all 16 playoff teams. And, if you watched any of the games, you probably saw plenty of familiar faces. The Brotherhood has its grip over these playoffs. 12 players have Duke listed next to their names on 9 playoff team rosters this season, which is the 2nd most by any college (only UCLA and Kentucky, with 13 each, have more).

  • Minnesota Timberwolves - Amile Jefferson, Tyus Jones
  • Milwaukee Bucks - Jabari Parker, Marshall Plumlee
  • Boston Celtics - Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum
  • Philadelphia 76ers - J.J. Redick
  • Cleveland Cavaliers - Rodney Hood
  • Miami Heat - Justise Winslow
  • Oklahoma City Thunder - Kyle Singler
  • New Orleans Pelicans - Frank Jackson
  • Golden State Warriors - Quinn Cook

This list doesn’t include Quin Snyder, who is the Utah Jazz head coach, or Chip Engelland, who is an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs. Semi Ojeleye, who played at Duke two season before transferring to SMU, is also on the Celtics. While some of these players are not on the active roster, Duke Blue Devils will make a major impact in these playoffs.

The playoffs will be sorely missing Kyrie’s dynamic ability, as he would easily be one of the most popular players to watch had he not had knee surgery on April 5th. Still, teammate Jayson Tatum had an excellent day in his first-ever playoff game, scoring 19 points and adding 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and a block in Boston’s 113-107 overtime victory against Jabari Parker and the Bucks.

Down in Philadelphia, J.J. Redick has been one of the veteran leaders as “The Process” continues to be successful. On Saturday against Justise Winslow and the Heat, J.J. went off for 28 points on 8/18 shooting (4/6 from 3) as the Sixers trounced the Heat 130-103.

Quinn Cook’s emergence down the stretch for the Warriors has been widely acclaimed throughout the league, and he’s looking to continue his hot play throughout the playoffs for the defending champions.

For years, the knock against Coach K and Duke was that the program didn’t develop players that could make a difference on the top teams in the NBA. They weren’t seen as stars. They were merely role players who didn’t do much and didn’t help win championships for teams.

Now, that narrative has changed. Duke players have been regular contributors to their teams and as these teams begin the playoffs, they will be big factors. With 11 of the 16 teams in the NBA Playoffs with at least one member of The Brotherhood available to play (or coach), there’s a very good chance that it can add another player to the list of former Blue Devils that have won NBA titles as a player. That current list: Jeff Mullins (1975, Golden State), Danny Ferry (2003, San Antonio), Shane Battier (2012 and 2013, Miami), Kyrie Irving (2016, Cleveland), and Dahntay Jones (2016, Cleveland).

Who could be the next one to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy? Watch the NBA Playoffs unfold and if your favorite team isn’t there, find a team that has a member of The Brotherhood and jump on the bandwagon.

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