While there are many things still up in the air about this weekend's upcoming NBA playoff matchups, one thing's for sure: The East is the Beast (sorry, Kobe).
Wade, Rose, James, Carmelo, Howard; the list goes on.
But what makes many of the Eastern Conference's best teams great is their abundance of role players and unsung heroes. Guys who may or may not start, might not get all the glitz or glam but still have the potential to change a game with a big shot or a tough defensive play.
Here's a look at some of the East's best role players and unsung heroes going into the playoffs.
In sharing time at the SG/SF slots with Danny Granger, Brandon Rush, Paul George and Mike Dunleavy, Dahntay Jones' minutes have taken a bit of a hit this year but he definitely still has the capability to provide a spark for the Pacers coming off the bench.
Look for the Trenton, NJ native and seven-year veteran out of Duke to get about 15 minutes off the bench against the Bulls, but if he gets a hot hand at any point that number may go up.
Anyone who has watched Derrick Rose play this year understands why the Chicago Bulls are the No. 1 seed in the East. Alongside Rose, guys like Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah provide the power and support the Bulls need to go all the way.
But those guys aren't on the court the whole game. Kyle Korver has been averaging about 20 minutes a game this year and is shooting 41 percent from three-point land.
Korver has the ability to hit a big shot coming off the bench, and with the recent thumb injury to Ronnie Brewer, look for his minutes to go up.
Drawing LeBron James & Co. in the first round, the Sixers are faced with the tough challenge of facing the resurgent Miami Heat.
While Elton Brand and Andre Iguodala will bare the brunt of the responsibility for cooling down the Heat, the Sixers may look to Sixth Man of the Year candidate Thaddeus Young to keep LeBron at bay.
Young is averaging 12 points and five rebounds a game off the bench, providing just the kind of explosiveness Philly will need if it wants to ruin Miami's title dreams.
Yeah, we've heard about the Big Three. James, Wade and Bosh may not have won 82 out of 82 games this year, but they've put themselves in a position where an NBA championship is definitely within reach.
If there's one reason the Heat will not win it all this year, it's because they don't have enough role players like Joel Anthony.
Anthony has proven himself this year as a defensive force. He won't score much, if it all, but can definitely contain and even shut down some of the Eastern Conference's biggest scoring threats.
Kirk Hinrich has jumped around a lot from team to team in his seven-year career, but his current role on the Atlanta Hawks may prove to be his most important.
The Hawks rely on Joe Johnson, Al Horford and Josh Smith to do most of their scoring, but Hinrich's eight points a game and 40 percent shooting from beyond the arch undoubtedly help.
He's also averaging nearly 30 minutes a game and has a knack for finding an open shooter.
J.J. Redick has missed quite a few games due to an abdominal strain, but should be back for the Magic's opening playoff game against the Atlanta Hawks.
That's nothing but sweet news for the Magic faithful. Redick's 10 points a game off the bench and uncanny ability to hit the big three-point shot will surely be needed if they want to take down the Hawks.
Although Chauncey Billups is a proven playoff leader, Toney Douglas has shown the ability to lead the way when Mr. Big Shot needs a rest.
Douglas has increasingly become an offensive threat this year and may be one of the few defensive stalwarts the Knicks have on their roster. He will get a good amount of playing time against Boston, and might just be the spark off the bench needed for the Knicks to edge past the aging Celtics.
This would've been Kendrick Perkins if the Celtics hadn't made that senseless trade.
Regardless, Glen Davis has been playing better and better as the season has progressed, even making an appearance in the starting lineup.
Pierce, Allen, Garnett and Rondo are the reasons Boston is where they are, and that won't change, but strong performances from Glen Davis could do wonders for all that talk of an aging Celtics team.