You never quite know when the opportunity will come, but when it does, the best NBA players are ready.
This season featured plenty of guys who had to fill big shoes and step into a surprise role, a new team, increased minutes and/or a leadership position.
In some cases, they transformed from afterthoughts into bona fide stars over the course of the year. For others, it was a seamless transfer from general cog to a specialized role.
Every such spot was previously manned by someone else, but the job belongs to the newcomer now.
NBA assistant editors Ethan Norof and Joel C. Cordes have a list of players who answered the call in a big way.
Who did they nail? Who did they miss? Which other players do you want to laud for filling big shoes this year? Leave us your thoughts in the Comments section below!