Wayne Ellington, Danny Green headline seven former Tar Heels in the NBA Playoffs
UNC forward John Henson is defended by an Ohio forward in the Tar Heels' 73-65 overtime win at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis in the Sweet 16 of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. (DTH File/Stephen Mitchell)
The North Carolina men's basketball team has a long-standing history of sending players to the NBA. In total, 112 UNC players have been drafted, including an NCAA-best 49 in the first round. As this year’s NBA Playoffs start, seven Tar Heels will be in action.
Although he has bounced around to seven different teams during his career, Ellington has had a breakout season this year.
He set the Miami Heat single-season record for 3-pointers made (227), which is also the most by a bench player in NBA history. He has become a reliable shooter off the screen, averaging 11.2 points per game for the Heat.
The Heat's first-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers is special for Ellington, as he is originally from an area near the city. In the first game, Ellington played 19 minutes and scored six points in a loss to the 76ers.
In Game Two in Philadelphia, he played 20 minutes and scored 11 points in a Heat win. The teams will head back to Miami tied, 1-1.
After being drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2009, Green has been on the San Antonio Spurs since 2010.
He has shown the same defensive energy that he did while at UNC while developing a dangerous 3-point shot and driving with more confidence this season. With Kawhi Leonard out in the Spurs' series against the Golden State Warriors, Green has been tasked with trying to contain Kevin Durant while also trying to make up for Leonard on the offensive end.
The team as a whole has predictably struggled, but Green has not been able to add much this series. He scored six points in Game One on 2-5 shooting and went scoreless in Game Two, going 0-3 beyond the arc.
Over the past few seasons, Henson has been a crucial part of the Milwaukee Bucks' team and this year, he has earned his spot on the starting lineup.
Led by the “Greek Freak" Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee has had its struggles this season, but was able to stay consistent enough to make the playoffs.
Playing the Celtics in the first round, the Bucks dropped the first game in a thrilling overtime opener with three 3-pointers made in the last ten seconds of regulation time. Henson played 37 minutes, shot 3-6 from the field and ended the day with seven points, six rebounds and six blocks.
In Game Two, Henson notched 12 points, six rebounds and four assists in 37 minutes of playing time. The Bucks fell to the Celtics, 120-106.
After being on the championship roster in 2009 and leaving for the draft in 2010, Davis spent time on three NBA teams before landing at the Trailblazers in 2015.
In Game One, he played 20 minutes, scoring six points and pulling in a team-high 13 rebounds.
In his 13th season in the NBA, Felton has been a valuable veteran on the Oklahoma City Thunder this year. Averaging 16.6 minutes and 6.9 points on the season, he has held down the backup point guard spot for the Thunder behind reigning MVP Russell Westbrook.
In the Thunder’s first game against the Utah Jazz, they won in a convincing fashion, with Carmelo Anthony and Paul George showing why the Thunder spent so much money this summer. Felton spent 12 minutes on the court, scoring two points on the way to winning Game One.
Zeller has seen four different teams in his six years in the NBA, and two this year alone. He was traded from the Brooklyn Nets in early February, joining his former teammate Henson in Milwaukee. In his short time on the Bucks, he’s averaged 16.9 minutes per game, 5.9 points per game and 4.6 rebounds per game.
Zeller played a small role in the Bucks' Game One loss to the Celtics, with four minutes and two points. In the second game of the series, Zeller notched two rebounds in six minutes in the Bucks' loss.
Spending six years at the Nuggets from 2009 to 2015, Lawson has bounced around to four other teams, including a recent stint in China, before the Washington Wizards made a last-second addition to their playoff roster and signed him April 12.
He did not see the court in Game One against the Raptors. In Game Two, Lawson put up 14 points (4-10 shooting) and eight assists in 31 minutes.
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