LAWRENCE, Kan. – Nine of the 15 Kansas NBA Jayhawks will be competing in the 2018 NBA playoffs as the regular season ended April 11 and the postseason begins April 14.
In the east bracket, Markieff Morris (who played at KU from 2009-11) and Kelly Oubre Jr. (2014-15) will compete for No. 8 seed Washington against No. 1 seed Toronto. Both Markieff and Oubre are making their second-consecutive NBA playoff showings as Washington advanced to the second round in 2016-17. The Washington-Toronto series begins Saturday, April 14, in Toronto.
Also in the east, Boston’s Marcus Morris (2009-11) will have the No. 2-seed Celtics taking on No. 7 Milwaukee. Marcus is in his first season with Boston and will be making his second NBA playoff appearance. Last year he averaged 17.7 points in the playoffs for Detroit, who lost in the first round to Cleveland. The Boston-Milwaukee series starts Sunday, April 15, in Boston.
NBA All-Star Joel Embiid (2013-14) has helped lead No. 3 Philadelphia to its first NBA playoff appearance since 2012. In his first playoff run, Embiid and the 76ers will host No. 6 Miami on Saturday, April 14. Philadelphia enters the postseason riding a 16-game winning streak.
In the west bracket, No. 1 Houston versus No. 8 Minnesota series will feature Jayhawks facing each other. Tarik Black (2013-14) plays for the Rockets, while Andrew Wiggins (2013-14) and Cole Aldrich (2008-10) compete for the Timberwolves. Aldrich is making his third NBA playoff appearance having been at Oklahoma City in 2011-12 and with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2015-16. In 2012, the Thunder lost to Miami in the NBA Finals and in 2016 the Clippers fell to Portland in the opening round. Black and Wiggins will be playing in their first NBA playoffs on Sunday, April 15, in Houston.
Cheick Diallo will be looking for the upset as No. 6 New Orleans will face No. 3 Portland starting Saturday, April 14. Diallo will be making his first NBA playoff appearance.
Nick Collison (2000-03) has played in 91 NBA playoff games starting in 2004-05 with Seattle before the franchise moved to Oklahoma City. The No. 4 Thunder will play host to No. 5 Utah on Sunday, April 15. With Collison on the team, OKC has reached the western conference finals four times (2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016), including the 2012 loss to Miami in the NBA Finals.