In the 2014 NBA playoffs, one player can shift a game or series in his team's favor by himself. Whether it's scoring the basketball, crashing the boards or clamping down on defense, these select few are critical to their teams' success.
In most cases, these kind of players are your franchise players. Your leaders. Your alpha dogs. What are the 1990s Chicago Bulls without Michael Jordan or the Showtime Lakers without Magic Johnson?
There are rare cases where the most important guy on the floor is the sidekick or a secondary player whose unique skill set is imperative in certain situations. Jordan needed Scottie Pippen to lighten the load. Larry Bird needed guys such as Kevin McHale to handle business in the paint.
Today, we'll take a look at the most critical players on every remaining team in the playoffs. Granted, some of these names will be obvious. There will also be teams where you can argue a case for a number of different players.
Is Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook more important to the Oklahoma City Thunder's success? Truthfully, it's like picking which arm you like the most. Since one needs the other, this will be less about who is more important and more about whose presence has the most overall effect on his team's success.
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