NBA Playoffs: 5 overlooked potential x-factors in the Eastern Conference

Miami Heat Tyler Herro (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Miami Heat Tyler Herro (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
5 of 6
New York Knicks
New York Knicks Derrick Rose (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports) /

Potential East x-factors in the NBA Playoffs: Derrick Rose, New York Knicks

Julius Randle has been the player that has stolen the headlines this season for the upstart New York Knicks in the East. After Randle, RJ Barrett, even though he hasn’t been given the credit that he deserves this season, has been the second player that has garnered most of the kudos for the Knicks’ return to relevance.

However, since the acquisition of Derrick Rose, you can make the case that the Knicks have been an absolutely different team. Rose has given them a veteran presence and versatility whether that’s being either being a spot-starter or a microwave scorer off the bench. The Knicks are 22-11 in games that Rose plays in.

Rose may not be the MVP-caliber type of player that he was early in his career, but he’s grown as a contributor and knows his role with this team. If the Knicks are going to win a first-round playoff series, they’re going to need a heavy dose of Rose on multiple fronts.

He’s going to have to be one of the most important players on a nightly basis. And while he may not be a player that can take over a series completely in the playoffs at this point in his career, he’s absolutely a player that can make a significant difference.