The playoffs have started, and it’s been one of the most chaotic first rounds in recent memory. Both conferences feel very wide open thanks to critical injuries and various superstars playing underwhelming basketball. Going into this year’s postseason, it felt like a rematch of last year’s Finals between the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks was inevitable. But, after two of three games, shit has hit the fan. Key injuries to Kris Middleton and Devin Booker could lead to a tough road for both teams to repeat and perhaps even a first-round upset. Every team in the playoffs possesses a superstar. And in the playoffs, it’s all about the superstars. This means just about any team can make a surprise run.
But superstars can’t do it alone. Depth, coaching, and a second star are crucial to deep postseason runs. So we’ve collected the players who will need to be X-factors for their teams to advance in the playoffs.