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Though not leading the league like they have in recent years, the Florida Gators have placed seven players in the 2016 NBA Playoffs, good for sixth most behind North Carolina (13), Duke and UCLA (nine each), Kansas and Kentucky (eight each) and tied with Arizona (seven).
Florida’s seven players are spread among six of the 16 teams in the playoffs. Here’s the breakdown.
C Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks: Putting together a fully healthy season, Horford has averaged 15.2 points, 7.3 boards and 3.2 assists this year while starting all 82 games and leading the Hawks back to the playoffs.
F Chandler Parsons, Dallas Mavericks: Shooting better than he has in his career to this point, Parsons is hitting nearly half of his field goals and 41.4 percent of his threes, but his minutes and overall numbers are down as he averaged 13.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game this season, his lowest since his rookie campaign in 2011-12.
PF David Lee, Dallas Mavericks: After starting the season with the Boston Celtics, Lee wound up joining Parsons in Dallas and has done great in his 25 games with the club. Lee is posting 8.5 points and 7.0 boards in just 17.3 minutes per game while hitting 63.6 percent of his shots in that span, which would be a career-high percentage if it was over the course of a full season.
PF Marreese Speights, Golden State Warriors: “Mo Buckets” has been getting his despite seeing his minutes cut by four per game following Golden State’s title run last season. Speights is still efficient when in the game, scoring 7.1 points and grabbing 3.3 rebounds, but he’s only seeing 11.6 minutes of action per contest off the bench.
F Corey Brewer, Houston Rockets: Though Brewer has started 12 contests this season, he’s a reserve for the Rockets and is struggling on the offensive end with an overall stat line that has dipped below the averages he’s posted since his second year in the league.
PF Udonis Haslem, Miami Heat: Haslem is more a leadership figure than anything else in Miami, as he’s only playing 7.0 minutes per game and has suited up in just 37 contests in his 12th season. He’s averaging career lows across the board, but what he brings to the Heat locker room cannot be overstated in terms of experience and maturity.
PF Matt Bonner, San Antonio Spurs: In his 11th season (10th with San Antonio), Bonner is actually shooting some of the best averages of his career, but his 6.9 minutes per game is a career-low and he’s only played in 30 games this season with two starts.
Oh, and there’s this guy …
Coach Billy Donovan, Oklahoma City Thunder: Donovan led the Thunder to a first-place finish in the Northwest Division and No. 3 seed in the playoffs, which is impressive considering the two teams that finished ahead of Oklahoma City (Golden State, San Antonio) posted historic records. At 55-27, the Thunder got a tough draw in the Mavericks, putting Billy D up against two of his former players in Parsons and Lee.