Warren Earns Place Among NBA Bubble Elite

Brett Friedlander

Damian Lillard, James Harden and Luka Doncic are the kind of names normally associated with All-NBA first teams.

And they're right there on the list of top players since the NBA's restart, as chosen by Sports Illustrated.

Joining this time. however, aren't the likes of LeBron James, Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant. But rather, T.J. Warren.

The former NC State star earned his selection with his performance with a standout performance for the Indiana Pacers in their first five games inside the NBA's bubble in Orlando.

The fifth member of the "All-Seeding Games First Team" is Devin Booker, whose Phoenix Suns didn't qualify for the playoffs despite going unbeaten since the restart.

Warren got things started with a career-high 52-point outburst in his first game back since the NBA season was suspended by the coronavirus pandemic in March. He followed that up with three more 32-plus point efforts in the next five games -- including 39 in a win against the Los Angeles Lakers that also saw him come out on top in a head-to-head duel with James.

The 2014 ACC Player of the Year has averaged 31 points per game in the bubble while shooting nearly 58% from the field and 52% from 3-point range.

He missed Wednesday's game against the Houston Rockets as well as Friday's seeding-round finale against the Miami Heat with a sore foot. He is expected to be ready when the fifth-seeded Pacers take on the fourth-seeded Heat in the Eastern Conference playoffs that begin next week.

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