The playoffs are coming, which means NBA fans will be bombarded with talk about LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant. And with good reason. April, May and June are when true stars shine and pretend ones fade, and all three of those bona fide superstars have experience with both triumph and failure.
It takes more than one player to win a championship, however, and even James, Anthony and Durant are going to need help to do that. To get the 16 victories necessary to win it all, some unlikely heroes need to step up.
Some of those heroes might be stars already, or on the cusp of achieving full-fledged stardom, like the Warriors’ Stephen Curry. Others might be aging legends like the Celtics’ Kevin Garnett, who wants to prove he still has at least one more long run in him. Then there are players who will never get an All-Star Game invitation or sell a lot of jerseys but have proven their worth in the playoffs, like George Hill and Stephen Jackson.