Credit: USA Today

The 2019 NBA playoffs are just around the corner. Sixteen teams will compete in four rounds and only one will remain to lift the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. The warriors are odds-on favorites to win the championship but still, the playoffs will definitely be exciting.

The conference quarterfinals will begin on April 13th and soon the championship will also be decided. The post-season period can be very difficult for avid basketball fans. If interested, you can check out some basketball themed slots to keep you from getting bored in the meantime. NetEnt, Playtech, etc are some of the best online software providers and offer an immersive gaming experience.

Here we bring to you the three players who will take the NBA by storm and will be very influential in their teams’ chances for the championship.

 

Giannis Antetokounmpo

 

 

There can hardly be a scarier sight in the NBA than Antetokounmpo dashing at your defense with a clear runaway. It almost feels like he has ice running through his veins such is his composure in front of the net.

His team has home court advantage on their way through to the final. Their record at home is at stellar 33 wins to 8 defeats. Giannis Antetokounmpo had a huge role to play in this remarkable feat but it wouldn’t have been possible without the supporting cast of Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, and Eric Bledsoe.

Antetokoumpo’s has a huge fan in Coach Mike Budenholzer who has structured the team around his star player. This has made it possible for the team to fully benefit from the star man’s talents. His injury record hasn’t been very impressive but if he manages to stay fit for larger parts of next season he will be unstoppable.

 

Chris Paul

Some pundits who are very analytical about the game will tell you that momentum is not very relevant at this point of time in the season. But the fact remains that the Houston Rockets have gained momentum and put together a string of impressive performances. Now as the Conference finals loom large the Rockets have a real shot at the Warriors, who are favorites to win the Championship.

Chris Paul, the 34-yr-old point guard will be instrumental in their hopes of making it to the final. His numbers may not be very impressive but his overall impact on the team is tremendous. He plays the game as if it were chess controlling possession and using it efficiently against any defense. At the same time, he can stifle out threats from even the best of the scorers.

 

Gordon Hayward

Credit: Getty Images

Hayward spent almost all of his first season on the sidelines owing to the multiple injuries to his legs which included a broken tibia and dislocated left ankle. After coming back from the injury he was struggling for consistency.

The good news for the Celtics though is that he looked sharp towards the end of the regular season. In the period of final five weeks of the regular season, he posted a point average of 14.7. He also averaged 3.1 assists and 4.6 rebounds in just 26.3 minutes per game. The signs are there that he is ready to explode in the playoffs.

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