Stars drive the outcome of every NBA playoff series. Titles are not won without them. The list of Finals MVPs wouldn’t be dominated by Hall of Famers, both present and future, if they didn’t have the most control over postseason fates.nike nfl jerseys on sale
Still, playoff basketball isn’t only about the most obvious players. Teams are more than their tippy-top talent. They have sidekicks, role players, unsung heroes and, yes, higher-profile wild cards.
Everyone’s interpretation of X-factors is different. Some will argue that superstars can act as undersold turning points. They’re not wrong. Others see this designation as an opportunity to celebrate a roster’s deepest cuts. They’re not wrong, either.
Our search for this year’s top X-factors exists somewhere in the middle. Marquee talent isn’t off-limits, but we’re not singling out megastars. Their importance is assumed.china nfl jerseys nike
This is an ode to the postseason’s biggest swing pieces—unheralded No. 2s, fourth and fifth wheels and the occasional household name who fills a lesser role.
Jaylen Brown is a tempting selection. Marcus Smart’s absence will impact him more than anyone. Many of the toughest defensive assignments, beginning with Bojan Bogdanovic, will fall to him.
That curveball isn’t enough to overtake Gordon Hayward, though. He has been the Boston Celtics’ ultimate X-factor since the start of the season—their championship swing piece. Boston is a different team if he is even 75 percent of the player it signed in 2017.women nfl jersey
It has taken time. Hayward still doesn’t look like himself after he suffered a dislocated ankle and fractured left tibia on opening night last season. Rival offenses continue to target him in the half court.women’s authentic nfl jerseys
More and more, though, Hayward is getting closer to all the way back. As The Athletic’s Jay King wrote:where can i buy authentic nfl jerseys
“He has escaped from his post-injury funk with the battering, slashing style that made him an All-Star in Utah. Hayward is finishing at the rim with power and balance once again. He’s drawing free throws at approximately double his rate versus earlier in the season. He always seems in control, whether he’s spinning into a fadeaway jumper or firing a cross-court pass into a teammate’s shooting pocket.”buy nfl jerseys from china