NBA Playoff X-Factors – East

Who’s willing to put their body on the line to win a playoff game? To do the dirty work? These are the Eastern Conference X-factors.


1

Milwaukee Bucks

56-17, 1st in East
Season: 53-12
Bubble: 3-5

Playoff Match-Up: (8) Orlando Magic

Sean: Eric Bledsoe 

  • This is a huge postseason for Milwaukee. The pressure has never been higher with Giannis’ free agency looming and title expectations.  Middleton and Giannis will carry a heavy load but the player who I think could end up putting them over the top is Eric Bledsoe.  
  • Bledsoe is a guy with a ton of talent although he’s been uneven throughout his career.  The Bucks will see either Miami or Indiana in round two and guard play will be essential in either series.  Bledsoe needs to score at a consistent rate throughout the playoffs and he needs to be able to defend the guy across from him.  By doing that, he’ll relieve some of the pressure off Middleton and Giannis and make the road to the Finals a little bit easier. 

James: George Hill

  • Hear me out when I talk about George Hill and I’m not even looking at his stats for this season. Hill is known for being a smart minded guard who makes the best decision in a split second. One of the biggest problems for the Bucks is their bench. Let Hill jump-start the bench unit and watch the tempo of the game shift in Milwaukee’s favor. 
  • Shooting 46% from deep which to date is the best in his career, Hill will continuously knock down big shot after big shot. Especially, if no one is making something happen offensively which is the main storyline for the Bucks bench unit.
  • Why is he an X-Factor? He makes big plays and has his whole career. He’s seen big minutes his whole career and the beauty of it all is Coach Bud favors him in the postseason over Bledsoe to maintain the composure throughout the game. It’s got to be that San Antonio connection between Bud and Hill…..has to be. Having Hill in the lineup generates a solid confidence level and will ultimately be the X-Factor throughout the Bucks playoff run.

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