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UCLA Well-Represented in Upcoming NBA Playoffs

Apr 11, 2022
Zach LaVine and Jrue Holiday (photo by Kamil Krzaczynski, USA Today Sports)

The UCLA men's basketball program has nine former players who have helped lead their respective NBA teams to the upcoming NBA postseason, which begins on Tuesday, April 12.
While 10 teams from each of the Western and Eastern Conferences have qualified for the postseason, two teams from each conference will be eliminated in a series of play-in contests this week. The bracketed portion of the NBA playoffs will get underway on Saturday, April 16.
UCLA's former players who have competed for an NBA postseason-bound team this year include Kyle Anderson of the Memphis Grizzlies, Lonzo Ball and Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls, Moses Brown and Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavs, Aaron Holiday of the Phoenix Suns, Jrue Holiday of the Milwaukee Bucks, Kevon Looney of the Golden State Warriors, and Norman Powell of the Los Angeles Clippers.
In all, the UCLA men's basketball program had 12 former players who all saw in action in at least one NBA game during the 2021-22 season.
Russell Westbrook and Trevor Ariza competed for the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2021-22 season, with Westbrook appearing in 78 games and Ariza, in 24 contests. In addition, Darren Collison had played in three games for the Lakers after signing a 10-day contract.
Westbrook averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists during his 14th season in the NBA, his first year with the Lakers. He shot 44.4 percent from the field. Westbrook, who starred at UCLA in 2006-07 and 2007-08, has averaged at least 15 points per game in each of his 14 NBA seasons.
Ariza played in 24 games for the Lakers in his 19th NBA season. He averaged 4.0 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.
Postseason-Bound Bruins
Kyle Anderson – Memphis Grizzlies
Anderson, now in his eighth NBA season, averaged 7.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game during the 2021-22 season. Anderson, who spent two seasons with the Bruins in 2012-13 and 2013-14, shot 44.6 percent from the field and averaged 21.5 minutes in 69 games for Memphis. The Grizzlies, with a 56-26 record, secured the Western Conference's No. 2 seed. Memphis will face an advancing team from the play-in round (the No. 7 seed).
Lonzo Ball – Chicago Bulls
Ball averaged 13.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 35 games for Chicago before sustaining a left knee injury that kept him off the court, starting in the middle of January. Ball, in his fifth year in the NBA, registered career-best shooting percentages of 42.3 overall and 42.3 from 3-point range. Chicago finished the regular season with a 46-36 overall record, earning the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference. Chicago will open against No. 3-seed Milwaukee in the NBA playoffs.
Moses Brown – Cleveland Cavaliers
Brown joined Cleveland late in the 2021-22. Between time spent with the Dallas Mavericks and with Cleveland, he averaged 4.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 0.4 blocks in 40 games during the 2021-22 season. Brown registered three double-doubles with Cleveland, all within the season's final two weeks. Cleveland went 44-38 overall this season. The Cavs are the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference and will face No. 7-seed Brooklyn on Tuesday.
Aaron Holiday – Phoenix Suns
Holiday was traded to the Phoenix Suns from the Washington Wizards, midway through the NBA's 2021-22 season. Through 63 total games, Holiday averaged 6.3 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per contest. He shot a career-high 44.7 percent from the field and made 37.9 percent of his 3-point attempts. Holiday played in 22 games with Phoenix, which completed the regular-season schedule with a 64-18 overall record. Phoenix enters the playoffs as the Western Conference's No. 1 seed. The Suns will take on the No. 8 seed, an advancing team from this week's play-in tournament.
Jrue Holiday – Milwaukee Bucks
One year after having led the Milwaukee Bucks to the 2021 NBA Championship, Jrue Holiday averaged 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 6.8 assists through 67 games in 2021-22. Holiday, now in his 13th NBA season and his second full year with Milwaukee, shot 50.1 percent from the field and registered a 41.1 percentage from 3-point territory. He averaged 32.9 minutes per game. Holiday scored in double figures in 61 of 67 games played during Milwaukee's regular season. The Bucks, who went 51-31, and will enter the playoffs as the Eastern Conference's No. 3 seed. Milwaukee will take on the No. 6-seed Chicago Bulls.
Zach LaVine – Chicago Bulls
LaVine earned his second career NBA All-Star Game selection during the 2021-22 season. The 6-foot-5 guard from Bothell, Wash., averaged 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists through 67 games with the Chicago Bulls. LaVine's scoring average (24.4 points per game) was the highest of any former UCLA player during the 2021-22 NBA season. He shot 47.6 percent overall and 38.9 percent from 3-point range. LaVine concluded the regular season having averaged 34.7 minutes per game. The Chicago Bulls concluded the year with a 46-36 overall record, locking down the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference. Chicago will prepare to face No. 3-seed Milwaukee when the NBA playoffs get underway on Saturday, April 16.
Kevon Looney – Golden State Warriors
Looney was one of just five players in the entire league to have competed in all 82 games for his respective squad during the NBA's 2021-22 regular season. Looney, in his seventh NBA season (all with the Golden State Warriors), averaged 6.0 points, a career-best 7.3 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per contest. He shot 57.1 percent from the field and averaged 21.1 minutes per game. Golden State registered a 53-29 overall record. The Warriors will enter the upcoming NBA Playoffs as the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. Golden State will take on No. 6-seed Denver in the opening round of the playoffs, starting on Saturday, April 16.
Kevin Love – Cleveland Cavaliers
Love, in his 14th NBA season, averaged 13.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists through 74 regular-season games with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He shot 43.0 percent from the field and knocked down 39.2 percent of his 3-point attempts. Love, who has spent eight seasons with Cleveland, scored a season-high 35 points against Atlanta on Dec. 31, 2021. Cleveland compiled a 44-38 overall record. The Cavs enter the postseason as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference and will face No. 7-seed Brooklyn on Tuesday (play-in tournament).
Norman Powell – Los Angeles Clippers
Powell was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers (from the Portland Trail Blazers) in early February. Powell, a 6-foot-3 guard from San Diego, was limited to just five games with the Clippers but has returned from a foot injury and will be available in the postseason. Through 45 games this season, he averaged 19.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists. He shot 46.1 percent overall and 41.9 percent from 3-point range. The Los Angeles Clippers have entered the postseason as the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference's play-in games. The Clippers will face the No. 7-seed Minnesota Timberwolves (at the Target Center in Minneapolis) in a play-in contest this Tuesday. The winner of that game will face the Memphis Grizzlies in the postseason's first round.