Andrew Wiggins

NBA playoffs rewind: A look back at postseason debuts of current Canadian stars

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Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins (Getty Images)

The 2018 playoffs feature an NBA-record 62 international players from 33 countries, including four Canadians hoping to help their teams make deep runs.

Here's a look back at the playoff debuts of those four players, starting with a slasher in Minnesota who just got his first taste of postseason action.

Andrew Wiggins, Timberwolves

On Sunday, the Timberwolves' 14-year playoff drought came to an end, and fourth-year forward Andrew Wiggins made the first postseason appearance of his career.

In Minnesota's 104-101 loss to Houston, Wiggins finished his playoff debut with a team-high 18 points (7-of-15 shooting) and six rebounds in 32 minutes.

Wiggins played a key role in Minnesota's success throughout the regular season, averaging 17.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 36.3 minutes per game. The 2017-18 season marks the third time in Wiggins' career that he appeared in all 82 games. In four NBA seasons, Wiggins has appeared in 327 of a possible 328 games, a remarkable testament to his durability.

Cory Joseph, Pacers

Since being drafted by San Antonio in 2011, each team Cory Joseph has joined has qualified for the postseason. Though he was a member of the 2011-12 Spurs, Joseph did not see his first playoff action until 2013.

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Joseph's first playoff run was a memorable one. He averaged 4.5 points, 3.0 assists and 2.8 rebounds in the Spurs' first-round sweep of the Lakers. San Antonio advanced to the 2013 NBA Finals but lost to the Heat in seven games. Joseph appeared in six Finals games, scoring a then-playoff high eight points in a Game 2 loss. In 20 postseason games in 2013, Joseph averaged 3.0 points, 1.2 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 9.6 minutes per game.

After his run with San Antonio that culminated with an NBA title in 2014, Joseph joined the Raptors as a free agent. In 30 postseason games with the Raptors, Joseph averaged 8.3 points, 2.6 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 22.1 minutes.

Joseph has career playoff averages of 5.2 points and 1.6 assists in 13.6 minutes per game.

Kelly Olynyk, Heat

Kelly Olynyk's appearance in the 2018 postseason with Miami will be the fourth of his five-year career. His playoff debut came in 2015 as a member of the Celtics.

in 2015, No. 7 Boston faced Tristan Thompson and the No. 2 Cavaliers. Olynyk played his first-ever playoff game on his 24th birthday and scored 12 points on 5-for 7 shooting in the Celtics' Game 1 loss to the Cavs. Cleveland would go on sweep the Celtics in the first round, but Olynyk averaged 4.5 points in 13.3 minutes per game in the series.

In 26 career playoff games with Boston, Olynyk averaged 7.1 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists on 59.3 percent shooting.

Tristan Thompson, Cavs

Thompson's playoff debut came in his fourth NBA season, and Cleveland has qualified for the postseason each year since.

In his first-ever postseason appearance, Thompson finished with 12 points and six rebounds on 4-of-6 shooting. After sweeping Boston in the first round, the Cavs defeated the Bulls and Hawks en route to the second NBA Finals appearance in franchise history. Thompson appeared in all 20 of Cleveland's postseason games in 2015, averaging 9.6 points (55.8 percent shooting), 10.8 rebounds (4.4 offensive) and 1.2 blocks per game.

Thompson and the Cavs have appeared in three straight NBA Finals, winning the title in 2016. His career postseason averages are 8.1 points and 9.4 rebounds in 32.4 minutes per game.

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