NBA Playoffs: 10 Players To Watch Going Forward

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

The NBA playoff picture is still a little murky, what with four series still to be decided.

But, we will know, maybe as early as the weekend, just who the remaining eight will be. We already know the Stephen Curry-less Golden State Warriors are through (having disposed of Houston in five), as are OKC, San Antonio (who will face each other next) and Cleveland.

A look at the first round stats sees the usual suspects (minus Curry) at the top. Names like Durant, Westbrook, Paul and James are among the top 10.

The grind of an 82-game schedule and then the amped atmosphere of the playoffs, though, demands that lesser lights pick up the slack from fatigued superstars.

With 12 teams still in it, for now, here are 10 players we think will continue to elevate their games and take pressure off the big dogs.

10. Enes Kanter – Oklahoma City Thunder

Kanter started but one game during the regular season as the back-up center in OKC and played well enough to finish third in Sixth Man of the Year voting. While fellow center Kiwi Steven Adams provides excellence in the paint and off the boards, Kanter’s contribution to the Thunders’ easy five-game dismissal of Dallas can’t be overlooked. Through those five contests, Kanter averaged just over 20 minutes playing time and is tied with Toronto’s Kyle Lowry for 25th in playoff scoring with 15.2 points. What makes that stat even more impressive is that he is shooting an incredible 70.7 percent from the field. That’s a 13 point increase over his regular season percentage of 57.6. He’s also pulled down 7 rebounds a game, including the 13 he grabbed in a game 1 win, to go with his 16 points for yet another double double (he had a career high 25 during the regular season).

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

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