2021 NBA Playoff X-Factors – West

Which players will separate themselves as 2021 NBA Playoff X-Factors? Which unsung hero will come through for their team in the clutch?


Phoenix Suns

51-21, 2nd in West

Playoff Matchup: (7) Los Angeles Lakers

Sean: Mikal Bridges

Bridges is the unsung hero in the Suns starting lineup. He’s capable of knocking down open shots and is efficient in doing so.  Defensively, he gives Phoenix a ton of versatility. Pairing him with Deandre Ayton gives the Suns a solid defensive core. At 6’7 (with a 7’1 wingspan) Bridges will be tasked with defending forwards like Lebron, Kawhi, Paul Geroge and Luka Doncic. 

If the Suns are going to make a run to the Finals, Bridges will have to find a way to contain and limit the elite wing players in his conference in some capacity.

James: Mikal Bridges

One of the most versatile defenders in the league, having one of his best seasons of his young career. Being put into this position playing alongside Chris Paul and Devin Booker he fits the mold very well. A guy who can go out and get you a bucket and defend at an elite level.

I relate him to what Phoenix thought TJ Warren and Josh Jackson would turn into. Producing 13.5 points, shooting 54% clip he’s managed to get better every season. Needless to say the Suns have a Tim Hardaway type guy, but a lot better defensively. More importantly this is the first season he’s played in all 72 games. His durability is amazing 

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One response to “2021 NBA Playoff X-Factors – West”

  1. 2021 NBA Playoff X-Factors – East – No Limit Jumper

    […] For the second year in a row; my friend, colleague and NLJ founder James Macey joins me as we breakdown our favorite unsung hero’s. The players who could swing a game or series based on their hustle, skill or indefinable qualities. Players otherwise known as “X-Factors.” Join us as we breakdown our favorite 2021 NBA Playoff X-Factors in the Eastern Conference. To view our post on the Western Conference, click here. […]

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