The second round of the playoffs has commenced. The main highlight are teams that get the best of seven and move forward, though the playoffs are also home to historical performances by individuals. Listed below are four players who threaten their team’s opponent in stuffing the stat sheet, and earning their team wins along the way:
Rudy Gobert vs Golden State
The Golden State Warriors have always held a subpar center on roster. At least, in recent years. JaVale McGee and Zaza Pachulia simply cannot rebound over the 7″1 and young Rudy Gobert. Draymond Green himself has even admitted his defense can’t be beat:
Forget rebounding for a second, Gobert is a defensive machine. In the post, he blocks, blocks, and well…blocks again. He’s averaging (2.6) a game for Christ’ sake. Gobert will be a difference maker, if the Jazz pull this out. Take note.
Avery Bradley vs Washington
The Washington Wizards thrive off their backcourt scoring, featuring John Wall and Bradley Beal. Avery Bradley is a great producer on offense, but valued more for his top notch defense.
In Game 1, Avery held Bradley to (9-19) from the field. Beal would finish the game with (27) points, but scorers of his nature often do. The more these two play, the easier it’ll be for Avery to cutoff his matchup’s sharpshooting.
LeBron James vs Toronto
James is an absolute menace to play against in the post-season, and we all know it. He especially causes problems for the small ball Raptors. In their Conference Finals series last year (six games) James averaged: (26) points, (8.5) rebounds, on (62%) shooting.
With James on the court this season, the Cavaliers are (3-0) against Toronto, and he was monstrous with a (28/15/9) performance in November. It’s no secret that LeBron finds a new gear in the playoffs, but the Raptors may not know yet (or ever). I foresee a series sweep, with LeBron averages on a near triple-double stature.
Eric Gordon and Lou Williams vs San Antonio
For this matchup, I couldn’t just pick Gordon or Williams. The two as a back court are going to cause all kinds of problems for the Spurs. Manu, Tony, and Patty have enough trouble defending starting guards, now they have two sets to handle.
Combined, Gordon and Williams are averaging: (33.7) points, (5.5) assists, on (46%) shooting. They’re sharpshooters alone, not to mention efficient off the dribble. Expect them to make a big dent in this Conference SemiFinals.
All stats and information provided by ESPN and NBA.com. Featured image provided by the Big Lead via Google Images.