NBA: 8 Stars facing enormous pressure to make a deep run in the 2024 playoffs

Which NBA stars are facing the most pressure to come through in the 2024 NBA Playoffs?
Milwaukee Bucks v Boston Celtics
Milwaukee Bucks v Boston Celtics / Adam Glanzman/GettyImages
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Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal (Phoenix Suns)

Unfair or not, this season has not been anywhere close to what the Suns envisioned when they brought in Bradley Beal this offseason to pair with Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. Beal missing 29 games really hurt them (33-20 (.623 Winning %) with him, 16-13 (.552 W%) without him), but this team has too much talent to be the 6-seed who barely dodged the play-in. Can you imagine what the discourse will be if this trio is dispatched by the 3-seed Timberwolves in the 1st round of the playoffs (especially if it's quickly)?

While it has been a good season for all three players this season, as a whole it has been disappointing. And part of what has made it frustrating is that Durant and Booker have both been relatively healthy for most of the season.

Durant averaged 27.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 5 assists per game on the season with 52.3% shooting from the field and 41.3% shooting from three. He played 75 games on the year, his most since 2018/19.

Booker averaged 27.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game on 49.2%/36.4%/88.6% shooting splits. He played 68 games this season, which is actually right above his career average of 65.5 games per season in full seasons (not counting 2020 and 2021).

Beal is the one that did deal with injuries however, being limited to 53 games. On the year he averaged 18.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 5 assists per game while having the most efficient season of his career (51.3% shooting from the field and 43% shooting from three).

With those three immense talents all having strong seasons, you can see the confusion as to why this team is just the 6-seed. The disappointing regular season adds to the pressure for them in the playoffs.

The Timberwolves likely are not happy with seeing this trio in the playoffs. However for the Suns, a quiet 1st round exit after adding Beal to KD and Booker would be wildly disappointing.