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2021 #USCtotheNBA Playoff Preview

May 21, 2021

The first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs begins on Saturday, and four Trojans have a chance to make a title run.

The oldest and youngest Trojans in the league will face off in Round 1 of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

Onyeka Okongwu, in his first season for the No. 4 seed Atlanta Hawks, will go up against Taj Gibson and the No. 5 seed New York Knicks. Okongwu was slow to find his footing this season while he recovered from a foot injury, but showed flashes of greatness as the regular season came to a close. He averaged 4.6 points and 3.3 rebounds while playing 12.0 minutes per game. Gibson, who's 15 years older than Okongwu, averaged 5.4 points and 5.6 rebounds while playing 20.8 minutes per game for his hometown Knicks.


  • Game 1: Sunday, May 23, 4 pm PT, TNT
  • Game 2: Wednesday, May 26, 4:30 pm PT, TNT
  • Game 3: Friday, May 28, 4 pm PT, ESPN
  • Game 4: Sunday, May 30, 10 am PT, ABC

The other Trojan locked into the playoffs is Dewayne Dedmon of the Eastern Conference's No. 6 seed Miami Heat. Dedmon was a free agent all season until signing with the Heat in April. In 16 games for the Heat, Dedmon has averaged 7.1 points and 5.4 rebounds while playing 13.1 minutes per game. The Heat will go up against the No. 3 seed Milwaukee Bucks.


  • Game 1: Saturday, May 22, 11 am PT, ESPN
  • Game 2: Monday, May 24, 4:30 pm PT, TNT
  • Game 3: Thursday, May 27, 4:30 pm PT, TNT
  • Game 4: Saturday, May 29, 10:30 am PT, TNT

De'Anthony Melton has a chance to make the playoffs as his Memphis Grizzlies face the Golden State Warriors tonight for the No. 8 seed in the West. Melton is having the best season of his young career, averaging 9.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists while playing 20.1 minutes per game. Tonight's game tips off at 6 pm PT on ESPN. Should Melton and the Grizzlies win, they would advance to play the No. 1 seed Utah Jazz.