The Most Influential Behind-the-Scenes Figures of the NBA Playoffs

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The Most Influential Behind-the-Scenes Figures of the NBA Playoffs
Randy Belice/Getty Images

Everybody thinks NBA playoff success depends on high-profile, face-of-the-franchise players like LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant.

There's a good reason for that: To a large extent, it's true. Stars shine brightest in the postseason. The big names tend to control the narratives.

Throughout the regular season, though, subtler forces were at work, shaping the current playoff environment with behind-the-scenes moves and unheralded influence. In some cases, these hidden string-pullers toiled in the front office around conference tables.

Others laid the groundwork for postseason success from the training table.

You've probably heard most of their names before, and you might even recognize a face or two. But you'd never think to give them as much credit for molding the playoffs as you would to the league's marquee names.

These guys work behind the curtain—not out in front of the bright lights.

The invisible hands of the NBA playoffs are about to get their due.

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