The NBA playoffs present a stage for players to make their mark. The best players elevate their game under pressure and create unforgettable moments for the fans. However, some players crumble under the bright lights. In this year's playoffs, we've had our fair share of underwhelming performances. Here are five players that just couldn't get it done when it mattered the most.
5. Joel Embiid
This might get some fans riled up, but looking deeper into the numbers tells the story. You can blame it on injuries, but that's part of him too. Joel Embiid, aside from his electrifying Game 3 performance against the Raptors, has largely been a non-factor. Although he was able dominate against the smaller big men of Brooklyn in round one, he's getting shut down by Marc Gasol in round two. Against the Raptors, Embiid is averaging just 17 points and 8.3 rebounds on 38% shooting.
4. Donovan Mitchell
Mitchell had a breakout rookie season and carried the Jazz in the playoffs last year as their main offensive threat. Despite some early struggles, he also managed to elevate his game in year two. However, against a tough Rockets team in the playoffs this year, Mitchell was made ineffective. Although he still put up 21.4 points, he was wildly inefficient as he shot 32.1% overall and 25.6% from three.
3. Kyle Lowry
Playoff Lowry is back again. Despite having much less responsibility with Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam carrying the load, Lowry continues to be a non-factor in the postseason. He's averaging just 12.6 points per game while shooting 28% from three. The Raptors have survived so far thanks to Kawhi, but Lowry has once again proved that he's not built for these moments.
2. Russell Westbrook
Choking in the playoffs is starting to become a habit for Westbrook. Ever since Kevin Durant left, Westbrook hasn't gotten out of the first round. He continues to talk like he's one of the best, but he has consistently underperformed when it's mattered most. Against the Blazers in round one, Westbrook shot his team out of the game as he averaged just eight makes on 22 shots per game (36%).
1. Kyrie Irving
Who would've thought the guy that hit one of the biggest shots in NBA playoff history would end up on this list? Kyrie Irving surrounded his team with unnecessary drama throughout the regular season with his poor leadership, but he still delivered in his play. However, when it was his time to lead the team in the playoffs, he crumbled. In his last three games against the Bucks, Irving shot 32.3% from the field and a putrid 18.2% from three.