NBA Playoffs 2012: Russell Westbrook and the 15 Most Influential Players

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NBA Playoffs 2012: Russell Westbrook and the 15 Most Influential Players
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The NBA's Jeremy Lin made the list of Time’s 100 “Most Influential People in the World."

It may have come as a shock because Lin only blasted onto the scene as an influential basketball player this season for the New York Knicks under Coach Mike D’Antoni.

With D’Antoni out and Lin benched with injury, his influence with the Knicks has been inevitably curbed and forced into a once-upon-a-time tale of success. Still, the impact Lin has had on the hopes and dreams of the underdog in life seems to trump the credit of time.

As the 2012 NBA playoffs approach, the league becomes less about the individual pace of the players and more focused on the collective efforts of their franchise, at least when it comes to winning a series. However, after that series is won, or lost, there is an individual spotlighted for his accomplishments during the game that ultimately turned the tide.

As we look into the vast predictions of the NBA playoffs, there are 15 players that stand out as the most influential of every round. Predicting the winners and losers of every round leading up to the 2012 NBA Finals, here is a composed list of each series' most influential player.

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