The playoffs have started and it’s been one of the most chaotic first rounds in a long time. Both conferences feel very open thanks to critical injuries and various superstars playing underwhelming basketball. As this year’s postseason begins, it felt like a repeat of last year’s Finals between the Phoenix Suns and the Milwaukee Bucks was inevitable. But after two games out of three, the shit hit the fan. Key injuries to Kris Middleton and Devin Booker could result in a tough path for either team to repeat and perhaps even a first-round upset. Every team in the playoffs has a Superstar. And the playoffs are all about the superstars. That means almost any team can pull off a surprise run.
But superstars can’t do it alone. Depth, coaching, and a second star are critical to post-season deep runs. That’s why we gathered the players who need to be X-Factors for their teams to advance to the playoffs.