This is part 4 of the playoff X Factors series. You can find parts 1 through 3 below:
Chicago Bulls – Tony Snell
Tony Snell can make threes and play defense. Those type of players always seem to be important in the playoffs. The Bulls will need the young Snell to have some nice games to get past the Cavs and Hawks. He’s definitely capable but the question is will his inexperience hold him back
Cleveland Cavaliers – Tristan Thompson
Thompson may be the Cavs third big man but he actually plays more minutes than the starter, Timofey Mozgov. Thompson’s main contribution is his rebounding, but he can score as well. While Thompson is not as big as Mozgov, he’s a more versatile defender and should be able to guard all of the various skilled big men of the Hawks and Bulls.
Atlanta Hawks – Dennis Schroder
Schroder is still very young which means he is still very inconsistent. He can score a lot of points in not a lot of minutes but he can also go cold and miss a bunch of shots. Schroder is the Hawks best player at penetrating and making plays in the paint though. If Schroder plays well off the bench, the Hawks should be able to hold off the other eastern conference challengers.
Golden State Warriors – Harrison Barnes
Barnes, like many other Warriors, does a little bit of everything for his team. Barnes can defend multiple positions, rebound, make threes, and run the floor. His versatility allows the Warriors to play many different lineups. If Barnes continues to contribute at a high rate in many different ways for Golden State in the playoffs, they won’t lose many games on their way to the NBA championship.