2012 NBA Playoffs: 5 Huge X-Factors
The NBA playoffs are approaching, and there are a lot of teams who can make a deep run into May. Each team has an unsung hero who will need to play well to help out the stars. That's what makes the playoffs so fun to watch.
Here are five players who could make a huge difference to the fates of their respective teams in the playoffs.
C.J. Watson, Chicago Bulls
Derrick Rose is showing rust coming back from his different injuries, which he is still dealing with. It may take Rose through the first round to get back to full strength. That's why Watson will be so critical.
Watson has the range to stretch defenses and his passing has improved. The Bulls may need him to come through in the playoffs.
Stephen Jackson, San Antonio Spurs
Jackson is out of the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff bubble, playing for Charlotte and Milwaukee. He's now with his beloved Spurs.
Although he is playing some of the worst basketball of his career, no one would bet against Jackson hitting some big shots in the playoffs. The Spurs could get to the NBA Finals with production from Jackson.
Jannero Pargo, Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks have a lot of big names on their roster, but Pargo is the guy to keep an eye on. His deep shooting should open things up for Joe Johnson and Kirk Hinrich.
With Al Horford, doubtful for the playoffs, the pressure will be on the Hawks' perimeter guys to make shots. Pargo is the top threat.
Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics
Bradley has pushed Ray Allen to sixth-man status at the moment. You can't take Bradley off the floor because he has given the Celtics a nice boost since being inserted into the starting lineup.
Bradley's range is improving and his speed can get him to the basket, and defensively, Bradley is a bulldog. Bradley and Rajon Rondo are undersized, but they are a great defensive backcourt tandem.
Metta World Peace, Los Angeles Lakers
World Peace is the definition of an enigma. You never know what you are going to get.
World Peace had his best game of the season a few days ago in a win in San Antonio, scoring 26 points. Those performances used to be expected from Ron Artest.
If World Peace can start playing like Artest, then the Lakers may have enough now with Andrew Bynum's emergence and Ramon Sessions.