Sunday, April 21, 2013

PLAYOFFS 2013 : Players To Watch

Photo by Stephen Dunn-Getty Images

It's common knowledge: Stars win in the playoffs. LeBron. Melo. Durant. Chris Paul. Tim Duncan. Dwight Howard. These big names bring ticket sales and (usually) wins where ever they go. Casual fans know them all on sight. But every team has a lesser known player who the fans gravitate to, who's every now and then busts out a move or two that electrifies the crowd, brings 'em to their feet with their hustle or flair, or even win you a game or 2. Here are the guys that I keep an eye on whenever they check in.

Eric Bledsoe, Los Angeles Clippers
8.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.0 apg
Talk about a change of pace guard. Injuries shelved him for most of March, and Chris Paul missing time earlier this season showed that  maybe Bledsoe isn't quite ready for a starting role, but as a reserve, Bledsoe is simply explosive. What he lacks in finesse, he more than makes up for with top notch athleticism and a nonstop motor. consider this: EB is only listed as 6'1" yet averages 0.7 blk/g and absconds with 1.4 stl/g. How dynamic is he? Ask J.R. Smith and the Kings if they know about Eric Bledsoe. He's only 6'1"!!:

Chris Copeland, New York Knicks
8.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 42% 3pt
A real oddity; Copeland is a 29 year old 6'8" rookie SF who's played minutes at center for the Knicks and can put up some crazy numbers while playing inconsistent minutes this season. Appearances can be deceiving; he looks awkward and unathletic, but has a knack for scoring while looking like Animal from the Muppets. He's averaging a whopping 22.2 ppg his last 5 games on 48% shooting. Here he is just destroying the Kings:

Terrence Williams, Boston Celtics
4.6 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.6 apg

Talent's never been Terrence Williams' issue. Williams has inexplicably bounced around and is on his 4th team in 4 years. I'm hoping Doc Rivers can rein in the talented 25 year old and allow him to display his bounce like he did here versus the Spurs on the regular: 

Gerald Green, Indian Pacers
7.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 0.8 apg
His 12.9 ppg last season for the Nets had the Pacers with high hopes for Green, and he hasn't quite lived up to expectations in Indy, but Green is a dynamite athlete and capable of being an explosive scorer.Who wouldn't want a guy on your team that can do this?

Jerryd Bayless, Memphis Grizzlies
8.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.3 rpg
4 teams, 4 years for the fearless 6'3" prototypical combo guard who can heat up in a hurry (29 points in 29 minutes versus Phoenix this year, 30 points against my Celts). His combination of speed, athleticism, and reckless abandon provides a much needed spark off the bench for the offensively challenged Grizzlies. When Bayless is on the floor, who knows when something like this will pop off?:

Who's your "Must Watch" player? Let us know, either here or on Twitter, @SnottieDrippen


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