(No) Chips On Their Shoulders: NBA stars with legacies to defend in the second round of the playoffs

NBA Houston Rockets Chris Paul (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
NBA Houston Rockets Chris Paul (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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NBA Houston Rockets James Harden(Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images) /

Six NBA stars who must defend their legacies heading into the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs

For better or worse, the NBA is a league where stars get all the credit; and blame. This works as a benefit to some, but as is the nature of a system where 29 teams fall short every year, a detriment to most.

Players who regularly churn out 50 wins and lead their team in scoring, only to get bounced in the first two rounds of the playoffs, end up getting labeled as a guy who “can’t produce when it matters”. Again, this isn’t the entire truth: putting up big numbers against the same team 7 games in a row is far more difficult than putting up an efficient 25 points on any given night, and the teams that ultimately win series nearly exclusively feature multiple players who are able to step up and fill in the blanks.

Still, we remember the best of the best as guys who need no excuses and likewise place asterisks next to the resumes of guys like Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson, or Tracy McGrady. In the superteam era, a trip to the Conference Finals is the bare minimum for a contender looking to characterize their season as successful.

Here are the stars who will either deliver in the second round of the NBA Playoffs or notice a hit to their legacies.