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Pair of Seminoles make NBA Playoffs debut tonight

These ’Noles had a lot to do with their teams’ success.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA playoffs start today, and a couple of former Florida State basketball stars will make their professional postseason debuts. Forward Jonathan Isaac’s Orlando Magic are the 7-seed in the East, and they’ll tipoff against the 2-seed Toronto Raptors at 5 pm. A second-year player, Isaac’s role really increased this season, as his playing time bumped up from 19.8 MPG to 26.6; his production corresponded, as his scoring nearly doubled, from 5.4 to 9.6 PPG. Isaac’s rebounding numbers also improved, from 3.7 to 5.5 RPG.

Guard Malik Beasley plays for the Denver Nuggets, the 2-seed out West, and they’ll open up against the 7-seed San Antonio Spurs tonight at 10:30 pm. Beasley’s improvement has been even more dramatic than Isaac’s. After averaging singe-digit minutes and just over three points per game in his first two seasons, Beasley’s enjoying a breakout campaign. His playing time is up over 23 MPG, and he’s contributing 11.3 PPG. Beasley has been an effective sniper, shooting 40.2% from long range on over 400 attempts.

Both games will be broadcast on ESPN.