Former Kentucky players are all over NBA playoffs. How are they doing?

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Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari was smiling with good reason Monday during Philadelphia’s easy 96-84 Game 2 victory against Brooklyn in the first round of the NBA’s Eastern Conference playoffs.

One of his former Wildcats, Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey, scored a game-high 33 points on 13-for-23 shooting, including 6-for-13 on 3-pointers.

After he left that game, Calipari could turn on Sacramento-Golden State and see two more of his former players, Kings guards De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk, starring in the playoffs.

Everywhere you look, ex-Wildcats are front and center in the playoffs, from the Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis to Phoenix’s Devin Booker to New York’s Julius Randle to Miami’s Bam Adebayo to Denver’s Jamal Murray.

‘The environment here (at Kentucky), everything about it is preparing them for the NBA,” Calipari told USA TODAY Sports during the 2020 playoffs in the Orlando bubble. “It’s an NBA environment. How we practice, the competitiveness in practice, the games, the shots. Every shot matters here.’

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Here’s all the Wildcats competing in the 2023 NBA playoffs: 

Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers have a 2-0 lead over the Brooklyn Nets: 

Tyrese Maxey

Kentucky (2019–2020)Drafted by the 76ers with the 21st overall pick in 20202022-23 regular-season stats: 20.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists

Maxey had 13 points, six rebounds and three steals in the Sixers’ 121-101 Game 1 win over the Nets. He dropped 33 in Philly’s 96-84 Game 2 win in front of Calipari.

Miami Heat

The Heat earned the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference following a 102-91 play-in tournament win over the Chicago Bulls. The Heat and Milwaukee Bucks series is tied 1-1.

Bam Adebayo

Kentucky (2016–2017)Drafted by the Heat with the 14th overall pick in 2017 2022-23 regular-season stats: 20.4 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists

The Heat stole Game 1 from the Bucks with a 130-117 win in Milwaukee. Adebayo had 22 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in the victory.

He had 18 points in their 122-138 Game 2 loss. 

Tyler Herro

Kentucky (2018–2019)Drafted by the Heat with the 13th overall pick in 2019 2022-23 regular-season stats: 20.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists

The 2022 Sixth Man of the Year will be out four to six weeks after breaking his right hand while diving for a loose ball in Game 1. Herro racked up 12 points and two rebounds in 19 minutes of play before the injury. He said he’ll likely return for the NBA Finals if the Heat make it that far. 

NBA PLAYOFF OPENERS: Kings, Lakers rise; injuries rattle Bucks, Grizzlies, Heat

New York Knicks

The Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers are tied 1-1: 

Julius Randle

Kentucky (2013–2014)Drafted by the Lakers with the seventh overall pick in 2014 2022-23 regular-season stats: 25.1 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists

The Knicks stole Game 1 from the Cavaliers with a 101-97 win in Cleveland, thanks in part to Randle’s 19 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. But the Cavaliers tied the series with a 107-90 win in Game 2. To add insult to injury, Randle exited in the fourth quarter as the Knicks trailed by double digits after landing awkwardly on his tailbone. 

Immanuel Quickley

Kentucky (2018–2020)Drafted by the Thunder with the 25th overall pick in 2020 2022-23 regular-season stats: 14.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists

Quickley had three points off the bench in Game 1 and added 12 points in Game 2. 

Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets are looking to advance to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2020. They are the No. 1 seed and lead the Minnesota Timberwolves 2-0:

Jamal Murray

Kentucky (2015–2016)Drafted by the Nuggets with the seventh overall pick in 20162022-23 regular-season stats: 20.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 6.2 assists

Murray scored a game-high 24 points and had eight rebounds and eight assists in the Nuggets’ 109-80 Game 1 win over the Timberwolves, his first playoff game since the 2020 NBA bubble.

‘Congratulations to Jamal for being back,’ Nuggets coach Michael Malone said of Murray, who tore his ACL in 2021. ‘That’s two postseasons that he did not play. It seems like eons ago when we were in the bubble and he was doing his thing.’

He dropped 40 points in the Nuggets’ 122-113 win over the Timberwolves in Game 2. 

Minnesota Timberwolves

Karl-Anthony Towns led the Timberwolves to the playoffs with a 120-95 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the play-in tournament to secure the No. 8 seed. They trail the Denver Nuggets 2-0:

Karl-Anthony Towns

Kentucky (2014–2015)Drafted by the Timberwolves with the first overall pick in 20152022-23 regular-season stats: 20.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists

Despite a strong showing in the play-in tournament, Towns only registered 11 points and 10 rebounds in Minnesota’s 109-80 Game 1 loss to the Nuggets. He wasn’t able to get it going in Game 2 either, scoring only 10 points and 12 rebounds in the loss. 

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers, who have three Wildcats, earned their spot in the playoffs with a 108-102 overtime win over the Minnesota Timberwolves in the play-in tournament to secure the No. 7 seed. The Lakers and Memphis Grizzles are tied 1-1:

Anthony Davis

Kentucky (2011–2012)Drafted by the New Orleans Hornets with the first overall pick in 20122022-23 regular-season stats: 25.9 points, 12.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists

Davis has not only won an NCAA championship with Kentucky, he won an NBA championship with the Lakers in 2020. And despite getting off to a 2-10 start to the regular season, the Lakers are looking to make a run in the West and their chances are contingent on the health of Davis and LeBron James. 

Davis almost had a triple-double in the Lakers’ 128-112 Game 1 win over the Grizzles, finishing with 22 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks. He exited before halftime with a shoulder stinger, but would later return. 

He had 13 points in their 103-93 Game 2 loss. 

Wenyen Gabriel

Kentucky (2016–2018)Undrafted in 20182022-23 regular-season stats: 5.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 0.5 assists

Gabriel did not score in Game 1 or Game 2. 

Jarred Vanderbilt

Kentucky (2017–2018)Drafted by the Magic with the 41st overall pick in 20182022-23 regular-season stats: 7.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists

Vanderbilt started Game 1, but only recorded four points in 23 minutes. He had eight points in Game 2. 

Sacramento Kings

Three Wildcats contributed to the Kings’ first playoff appearance since 2006. Sacramento leads the Golden State Warriors 2-0.

De’Aaron Fox

Kentucky (2016–2017)Drafted by the Kings with the fifth overall pick in 20172022-23 regular-season stats: 25.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.1 assists

Fox was named the inaugural winner of the NBA’s Clutch Player of the Year Award, earning 91 out of 100 first-place votes from league sportswriters and broadcasters. He also earned his first All-Star nod this season.  

He scored a game-high 38 points, including 29 in the second half and 15 in the fourth quarter, in the Kings’ 126-123 Game 1 win over the Warriors, his first playoff game. He had 24 points in their 114-106 Game 2 win over the defending world champions.

Malik Monk

Kentucky (2016–2017)Drafted by the Charlotte Hornets with the 11th overall pick in 20172022-23 regular-season stats: 13.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists

Monk reunited with his college teammate Fox this season after signing a two-year, $19 million contract with the Kings following one season with the Lakers. 

He scored 32 points off the bench, shooting 8-for-13 from the field and 14-for-14 from the free throw line, in the Kings’ Game 1 win. He had 18 points in Game 2. 

Trey Lyles

Kentucky (2014–2015)Drafted by the Jazz with the 12th overall pick in 20152022-23 regular-season stats: 7.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 0.9 assists

Lyles had 16 points off the bench for the Kings in Game 1, but didn’t score in Game 2. 

Phoenix Suns

The Suns are looking to return to the NBA Finals, which they reached in 2021. They are tied with the Los Angeles Clippers, 1-1.

Devin Booker

Kentucky (2014–2015)Drafted by the Suns with the 13th overall pick in 20152022-23 regular-season stats: 27.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists

Booker and Kevin Durant combined for 53 points in Game 1 of Phoenix’s first-round matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers, but they weren’t able to pull off a win at home. The Suns lost 115-110. Booker dropped a game-high 38 points as the Suns evened the series with a 123-109 win. 

Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers and Suns are tied 1-1: 

Brandon Boston Jr.

Kentucky (2020–2021)Drafted by the Grizzlies with the 51st overall pick in 20212022-23 regular-season stats: 6.5 points, 1.4 rebounds and 0.9 assists

Boston Jr. did not play in Game 1 and got one minute in Game 2, but did not score.  

This post appeared first on USA TODAY