Get to know the top Canadians in the NBA Playoffs

April 15, 2024
This feature is the third in a season-long partnership with the NBA, where, alongside their REPRESENT campaign, we’re celebrating the next generation of Canadian NBA stars. It’s the most wonderful time of the year: the NBA Playoffs. Even without the Toronto Raptors in the mix, there’s plenty of Canadian talent to cheer for. The Play-In tournament featuring two Canadians begins today, with 12 other Canucks waiting for their turn to throw down in the first round. So, let’s get to know the top Canadians expected to make waves.
Get to know the top Canadians in the NBA Playoffs
Source: Getty Images

⛈️ Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, No. 1 Oklahoma City Thunder

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with his fist pumped
Source: NBA

Watching Shai Gilgeous-Alexander work is like seeing a masterpiece being painted. The artist better known as SGA injects his natural creativity into everything he does, from his award-winning style (including his standout 2023 Met Gala look) to his imaginative plays.

  • Beyond hooping with flair, All-Star SGA majors in finesse, averaging more than 30 points per game as one of the league leaders in points and steals. Because when your hoops IQ is this high, production is just second-nature.

But the number one reason why SGA is firmly in the MVP conversation? Because the 25-year-old Hamiltonian led the youngest, most inexperienced team in the NBA to the postseason, elevating the performance of everyone around him. Stunnin’.

⛈️ Luguentz Dort, No. 1 Oklahoma City Thunder

Lu Dort with his hands on hips
Source: NBA

Thunder only happens when it’s raining, and lately, Luguentz (Lu) Dort has been (d)raining threes, a surprising development for the Montréaler who’s best known for his elite defending. Dort is often tasked with guarding the top player on the opposing squad, a selfless, but necessary role on any team with championship ambitions. The Dorture Chamber is always locked in.

  • Much like the Velveeta X account that adores him, Dort’s cheesy consistency will be the key to his success in the playoffs, as he sometimes struggles on both sides of the ball, even during this breakout season.

⛰️ Jamal Murray, No. 2 Denver Nuggets

Jamal Murray dribbling a basketball
Source: NBA

To be a champion, you have to think like a champion — and Kitchener’s Jamal Murray has been dreaming of reaching the mountaintop since he was a kid. Under the influence of his dad, who loved Bruce Lee, Murray incorporated kung fu tactics into his youth basketball training, including quiet meditation and visualization (among other more controversial methods) before games.

  • And in 2023, Murray reached the pinnacle of his sport, shining as NBA Finals MVP Nikola Jokić’s right-hand man as the dynamic duo brought the first Larry O’Brien Trophy to Denver.

While his legion of fans may be distraught after yet another All-Star snub, Murray remains focused on winning back-to-back championships, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished in the NBA since the Golden State Warriors’ dynastic 2017–2018 run.

🌉 Andrew Wiggins, No. 10 Golden State Warriors

Andrew Wiggins dribbling a basketball
Source: NBA

Veteran Andrew Wiggins is the Golden State Warriors’ X-factor. Though personal issues have plagued the 2022 champion’s past two seasons, fans saw glimpses of Wiggins’ former glory at the end of the regular season, just as the Warriors hit a hot streak to make it to the Play-In. Can’t be a coincidence.

When Golden State won the 2022 NBA title, Wiggins was the team’s leading rebounder, blocker, and second-highest scorer in the Finals series against the Boston Celtics.

  • Considering this Warriors squad boasts nearly the same roster as they did two years ago, strong, consistent performances from Wiggins are undeniably essential to the team’s success. It may have been a long journey to get here, but Wiggins and the Warriors might be peaking at the right time.

👀 Where to watch


You can catch every minute of the epic NBA postseason on Sportsnet & TSN, starting with tonight’s Play-In games featuring the Western Conference’s No. 7 New Orleans Pelicans vs. No. 8 LA Lakers at 7:30 p.m. ET, and the No. 9 Sacramento Kings vs. the No. 10 Golden State Warriors at 10 p.m. ET. All hoops, all the time.

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