NBA Playoffs: 3 potential x-factors in the Western Conference

Denver Nuggets Michael Porter Jr. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Denver Nuggets Michael Porter Jr. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns Jae Crowder (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports) /

Potential x-factor in the NBA Playoffs: Jae Crowder, Phoenix Suns

You might find it a bit strange to see Jae Crowder on this list, and perhaps you might be right, but after what he did in the postseason last year for the Miami Heat I couldn’t help but think that he could have a similar type of impact for the Phoenix Suns this season.

Crowder has been in and out of the Suns’ starting lineup this season, and there’s no guarantee that he’s going to play a prominent role for the sons in the playoffs, but he’s the type of player that this team is going to need if they’re going to make a deep playoff run.

Crowder has playoff experience and is coming off his best postseason performance of his career. On the season, he’s averaging just 10 points and five rebounds per game but it’s his versatility on the defensive end that perhaps will pay dividends most for the Suns in the postseason.

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If Phoenix is going to be a potential contender to win the West, players such as Crowder will have to step up in a big way and I have to believe that his experience is something that this team is going to need at some point during the postseason.