While every NBA player is technically critical to their team's success, there are always a handful of players who are especially important.
It's their performance that directly impacts the performance of the entire team more than anyone else. We usually know what we can expect from the superstars and the best players on a team, but these ones are more uncertain.
Some players are more established than others, but even they still have the ability to see their performances fluctuate rather dramatically.
If your favorite team has a representative on this list, you better hope that he stands out in a positive way. Anything else won't be good news for your team's chances of exceeding—or even living up to—the expectations.
Unless noted otherwise, all stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.