Pau Gasol

The San Antonio Spurs have been using Pau Gasol off the bench, and he has accepted his new role with the team and has been performing considerably well. Gasol has always been known for his fundamentals and high I.Q., which is exactly what the Spurs will need from him during the post-season. He is also a solid rebounder and underrated passer, making him crucial to San Antonio’s success. Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge are going to need a third guy to help them. Since Tony Parker has declined significantly, it has to be Pau Gasol.

Jonas Valanciunas

The Toronto Raptors considerably fixed their defensive issues at the trade deadline by adding Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker, who have also added toughness. However, Jonas Valanciunas still remains the most important factor to the team’s playoff success. The big man must become a reliable third option on the team to relieve pressure from Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, who cannot do it all. When Valanciunas plays well, the Raptors become a tough team to beat. But, his inconsistency has hurt Toronto in the past.

Al Horford

The Boston Celtics have way too many flaws and cannot rely heavily on Isaiah Thomas during the playoffs. Others must step up, most specifically Al Horford. The Dominican big man was a major free-agent acquisition last summer but hasn’t been consistent enough on the offensive end and has been a sub-par rebounder and paint protector.

Since he doesn’t have much size and athleticism, the least Horford can do is consistently become a second scoring option behind Thomas. When the playoffs approach, teams are going to put extra attention on Thomas, and that’s where the Celtics are going to need someone else to produce.

Andre Iguodala

For the star-studded Golden State Warriors, we all know what we’re going to get from Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Kevin Durant.

The rest of the players are wildcards. However, for the Warriors to get revenge on the Cleveland Cavaliers they need Andre Iguodala to perform at a high level. Usually, Iggy does turn up his level of play when the team needs him to, just like now without Durant in the lineup. Therefore, it’s essential for the Warriors to have Iguodala carrying the second unit since this year’s bench has been thinner than ever before.

Kevin Love

Although the Cleveland Cavaliers won an NBA title last season with Kevin Love struggling throughout the Finals, this season they are going to need him to perform extremely well if they want to repeat. Kyrie Irving and LeBron James are definitely going to play at a very high level, but Love is usually an unknown factor and this year he will be the biggest determining factor. The team will need a consistent third option, and we know what Love can do for this team when he is playing at his best. His ability to rebound, stretch the floor, and hit timely baskets will be much needed.