Morning links: Top mid-major players in NBA playoffs; Doc Rivers puzzled at reporter’s question

SB Nation’s Mid-Major Madness ranked the players from mid-major schools in the NBA playoffs, and George Hill, Gordon Hayward and Damian Lillard made the list.

Speaking about Hill, who came in at No. 9 in the rankings, Chris Schutte wrote, “In a more prominent role on his new team, Hill has flourished. He’s averaged a career-high 17.0 points per game, and helped lead the Jazz to their first playoff appearance in five years.”

Hayward was next up among the Jazz players, coming in at No. 5.

After talking about Hayward’s run at Butler, Torrance Jones turned his attention to how the Jazz star has been playing lately, saying, “Hayward has consistently improved his game every year in the NBA, leading the restoration of the Utah Jazz, and is the focal point for a current playoff contender.”

Lillard landed two spots higher, at No. 3, just behind Stephen Curry and Kawhi Leonard.

Talking about Lillard’s strong regular season, Cal Barash-David wrote, “Hot off a 59-point performance, Big Game Dame is averaging 27 points, five assists, and six rebounds for the Blazers this year. At 26, Lillard has already been immortalized in Portland lore with this buzzer-beater to send the Trailblazers to the second round over the Rockets in 2014.”

Karl Malone a top 2 all-time power forward

Shad Dorville of Fadeaway World ranked the top 5 power forwards in NBA history and Utah Jazz legend Karl Malone came in at No. 2 on the list.

Talking about Malone, Dorville wrote, “He was called the ‘Mailman’ for a reason, he delivered great on court performances.”

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