The Florida Gators Are Well Represented in the NBA Playoffs
Coach Billy Donovan has quite an impressive resume at the University of Florida. He has two National Titles, three trips to the Final Four, three SEC Tournament Championships, and ten NCAA Tournament invites.
He has also seen many of his former players go on to have very good NBA careers. Although some of them had great seasons, but will not be represented in the NBA Playoffs, such as Corey Brewer of Minnesota or David Lee of New York, many of them will be there. And they will not be there just to take up space.
Here they are in no particular order.
Matt Bonner of the Spurs just seems to get better each year. He can knock down a three pointer on you but has a decent inside game as well.
His 90 three pointers made this year was second on the Spurs--only Manu Ginobli made more. He also had an average of seven points and three-and-a-half rebounds per game. His assist-to-turnover ratio is 2-1.
If San Antonio is to make it out of Round One, Bonner will be a factor.
Perhaps the greatest big game player in Gator history, Joakim Noah, is going to be a key player in Chicago's quest to knock off the No. 1 seed, Cleveland Cavaliers.
How important is Noah to the Bull's cause? He recently missed 10 games due to a foot injury, and the Bulls went 0-10. He's so valuable to the Bulls that he's got VPs getting into shoving matches with coaches over his playing time.
Noah averages a double double this year while playing 30 minutes per game. If the Bulls are to pull off the upset, which Noah has predicted, he will come up big.
Al is another of the Gator frontcourt of the back-to-back title years. He is also averaging a double double this year with 14 points and 10 rebounds per game. Not only can he play in the paint, but can also step back and hit a jumper on your big guys.
He is one of the main reasons the Hawks are a contender to make a deep playoff run. Before Horford got there, the Hawks were a joke. Nobody is laughing now.
Udonis Haslem has been to mountain top. He followed up his Florida career, which saw him play in a National Championship Game, with an NBA Finals Championship.
Udonis nearly averages a double double for the Heat with 10 points and nine rebounds per game. He will need to come up with a big series to give D-Wade some help in beating the Celtics. In his career, Haslem averages 11 per game against Boston.
If he can pick that up to around 15 in this series, the Heat stand a chance.
Another former Gator with a ring already is Jason Williams. He may be huge in this postseason because he is playing for a team with a real shot at going all the way.
Since he has done it before, he can be a valuable asset for a team trying to get there. He has seen limited action this year, but at times has played a lot of important minutes.
Point guard was a real problem for the Magic in last year's NBA Finals. This year with a healthy Nelson and an able backup in Williams, that should not be an issue.
In 20 minutes per game this year, Williams averaged six points and four assists per game.