NBA Playoffs: 1 Crucial series-changing X-Factor for every playoff team

Predicting 1 series-changing x-factor for every team heading into the 2024 NBA Playoffs.
Cleveland Cavaliers v Los Angeles Clippers
Cleveland Cavaliers v Los Angeles Clippers / Harry How/GettyImages
1 of 16

Which X-Factors could arise for every team heading into the first round of the NBA Playoffs? We explore a few candidates.

After a grueling six months, the 82-game NBA regular season is officially over. Sixteen teams are preparing for a run to win the NBA Championship and over the next couple of months, the league's best and brightest teams will have the biggest spotlight. In the end, there will be one team that is hoising the Larry O’Brien Championship trophy.

While we don't know which team will end up winning it all, any team that is able to reach those heights likely won't be able to do so without a few x-factors stepping up along the way. As we head into the first round of the NBA Playoffs, we predict one potential x-factor for every postseason team. Let's begin with the four NBA Play-In Tournament teams that are competing for the final two playoff spots.

X-Factors for all 16 teams heading into the NBA Playoffs

Sacramento Kings

NBA Playoffs X-Factor: Keegan Murray

When you think about the Sacramento Kings, the two names that quickly come to mind are Domantas Sabonis and De'Aaron Fox. However, one player who is quickly rising to prominence on the team is Keegan Murray. Heading into their potential first-round playoff series, Murray could absolutely be considered an x-factor for the team. Especially if they're going to try to pull off an upset over the No. 1 seeded Oklahoma City Thunder.

New Orleans Pelicans

NBA Playoffs X-Factor: Trey Murphy III

It's unfortunate the New Orleans Pelicans ran out of gas in their first NBA Play-In Tournament game against the Los Angeles Lakers. However, they have another shot Friday night against the Sacramento Kings. One player who could emerge as a potential x-factor for the team heading into their postseason run is Trey Murphy III. A player who exploded onto the scene during the final two months of the season, he's certainly a difference-maker who could play a big role for the team.