We already know most of the teams that clinched a playoff berth. Those teams will only play the 8 games of the Orlando bubble for seeding purposes and to get back their chemistry before the start of the postseason.
And among all those teams, there are a handful of players that could step up any given night, get hot, and completely destroy the opposing team’s scouting report. Those X-Factors, if you will, can be the difference between going home early and going the distance.
Their defense, playmaking, or scoring, could be pretty handy when things get hard and the team’s star is double or triple-teamed. Today, we’re going to let you know everything there is to know about the top 5 X-Factors of the 2020 playoffs.
5. Alex Caruso
Alex Caruso became meme because of his looks but quickly turned into a fan favorite because of how much hustle and effort he puts up on both ends of the floor. His defense is vastly underrated and he could be a huge difference-maker.
Caruso’s offense isn’t that far ahead of schedule like his defense but he’s an intelligent guy with a nice vision and playmaking ability. He can guard multiple spots on the court, lead the break, and put even the best defenders on a poster with his signature put-back dunks.
4. Kyle Lowry
Perhaps calling Kyle Lowry an X-Factor is a bit of a reach. I mean, he’s the leader of the Raptors. Still, it seems like no one is expecting him to come through, given his history of underperforming in the playoffs and the fact that Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol are in town.
But now that he’s had four months to rest and recover, we definitely expect Lowry to be at his best in the Orlando bubble. His underrated defense could make a huge difference as well as his savvy playmaking and three-point shooting skills.
3. Robert Covington
Robert Covington is the kind of player every team needs on their roster. He’s the ultimate 3-and-D kind of guy that can match up and guard one through five, pile up steals and blocks, and won’t hurt your team’s spacing in the offensive end of the floor.
Covington was heating up with the Rockets before the suspension of the season. The Rockets aren’t exactly the biggest team in the league but his wingspan could make a huge difference in most matchups and he’s strong enough to hold his own vs. most centers as well.
2. Eric Bledsoe
Eric Bledsoe never took a step forward and turned into the star he was supposed to be. Still, he’s got what it takes to be one of the most determinant players for the Milwaukee Bucks when defenses start focusing on Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Bledsoe isn’t a standout shooter but can score in bunches when he gets into a rhythm. He’s also stronger than most point guards and can post them up despite being undersized. The Bucks put a lot of hope on him so it’s time he pays what he’s due.
1. Goran Dragic
Goran Dragic was the leader of the Miami Heat before Jimmy Butler’s arrival. He’s embraced a lesser role and doesn’t mind coming off the bench for the sake of the team. That’s why he could be the best substitute in the NBA once the bubble comes.
Dragic is a savvy playmaker and scorer. He can hurt you in many different ways and he’s the kind of player that could get hot in the blink of an eye. The Heat are a dark horse to win it all this season and they’d be pretty hard to stop if he finally steps up.