Kawhi Leonard and No-Names Who Have Become Playoff Stars
The NBA playoffs are often the time where the stars shine the brightest, but every once in a while, the postseason serves as a breakout party for future stars as well.
Sometimes, fans get to see no-names, or guys who have a pedigree but haven't quite broke through on the NBA level yet, start to become stars in front of our eyes.
The 2012 playoffs have been no exception as quite a few young players have used the big stage as a coming out party.
Here's a look at just a few of those players that could become future NBA stars.
Brandon Bass, Boston Celtics
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Bass had a solid season in Boston but has had a pretty solid playoff run for the Celtics that's seen him average 11.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game while shooting 44 percent from the floor.
He was especially good in the Philadelphia series as he scored in double figures in six of the seven games, including a 27-point breakout performance in a Game 5 victory.
Bass has put himself in a position to cash-in during the offseason as well.
Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets
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Faried saw himself buried on the Nuggets bench until mid-February, and he's left his mark along the way.
He was especially good in the six games against the Lakers, averaging 10.4 points and 10.0 rebounds during the series, making an impressive 53 percent of his shot attempts.
Faried has shown glimpses of being able to become an explosive force in the future.
JaVale McGee, Denver Nuggets
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For the most part, McGee was an underachieving knucklehead in Washington, which prompted the Wizards to trade him at the deadline.
McGee wasn't overly impressive with the Nuggets the final half of the regular season, but he made an impression during the playoffs with the way he battle Lakers' All-Star Andrew Bynum.
He only averaged 8.6 points per game but pulled down 9.6 rebounds and blocked 3.1 shots during the series, leaving little doubt that he has the ability to become a quality NBA center down the road.
Evan Turner, Philadelpha 76ers
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After struggling as a rookie, some people had already begun to write the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 draft off as a bust.
But Turner came on towards the end of the season and had his moments of brilliance in the postseason, averaging 11.2 points and 7.5 rebounds.
While he shot the ball miserably, only making 36 percent of his attempts, Turner was outstanding defensively throughout the playoffs and did all the glue work necessary to keep the Sixers in games.
Turner has a very bright future ahead of him.
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
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The youthful Leonard has averaged only 8.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, but he brings so much more to the Spurs than numbers.
He's shot 49 percent from the floor, but Leonard brings instant energy and outstanding defense to the Spurs lineup. As he progresses throughout his career, the numbers will be there as well.
Derrick Favors, Utah Jazz
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Favors was picked right behind Turner in the 2010 draft and hasn't had the opportunity to break through, but after his performance in the first round against the Spurs when he averaged 11.8 points and 9.1 rebounds through four games, Favors showed that he's ready for a bigger role.
The Jazz could potentially move Paul Millsap or Al Jefferson to create a spot for Favors and if they do, the Georgia Tech product is ready to produce.