NBA Playoffs 2020: Sleeper Players
We have made it NBA fans, the NBA Playoffs are finally here after grueling months of waiting out a pandemic. Thanks to some wise counsel and decision making from Adam Silver and the league, the NBA is back entertaining its fans. We are now to the postseason which is arguably the most entertaining time of the NBA year. With all of this in mind, it is worth wondering which players could sneak under the radar and become key in their respective team’s title aspirations. Without further adieu, let’s take a look at four sleeper players in these NBA Playoffs.
NBA Playoffs: Sleeper Players to Watch Out For
Player #1: Fred VanVleet
Fred VanVleet just may be the best backup point guard in the league. As of August 18, he is averaging totals of 17.6 points, 1.9 steals, and 6.6 assists per game. Great production to have coming off the bench when All-Star, Kyle Lowry, needs a breather. Many forget that VanVleet was a dark horse Finals MVP candidate last season, though Kawhi Leonard was still the obvious choice. During the Finals against the Golden State Warriors, VanVleet put up 14.0 points, shot 85.7 percent from the free-throw line, and also had 1.2 steals per game. The Wichita State product looks as if he has just gotten better this season with more experience and could very well be the X-factor for the defending champion, Toronto Raptors.
Player #2: Brook Lopez
Brook Lopez is often the forgotten cog in the high-powered Milwaukee Bucks machine. Make no mistake though, he is vital to this team’s success. Remember, this is the big man who once did his best Stephen Curry impersonation and hit eight three-point shots against the Denver Nuggets. We all know about the Greek Freak and we all know how Khris Middleton is remarkably efficient. However, what does go unnoticed is Brook Lopez’s impact on the game. He has a different play-style than his brother, Robin, but it serves him well. He is coming into the postseason averaging 12.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, and a true shooting percentage of 55.1 percent. Lopez could be key as the Bucks may have some nights where their first two options cannot get anything going. As a result, they will need a third scoring threat.
Player #3: Dennis Schroder
Dennis Schroder is no stranger to deep playoff runs. Remember, he was on the 60-win Atlanta Hawks squad. Granted, he was the backup to Jeff Teague, but the fact remains. Despite Chris Paul and Shai-Gilgeous Alexander being the main storylines for the Oklahoma City Thunder this year, it does not detract from the season Schroder has had. He is a Sixth Man of the Year candidate and for good reason. This season, he has put up numbers of 18.9 points, 4.0 assists, and a true shooting percentage of 57.5 percent. Not to mention, he has thrived in the Thunder’s whacky three different point guard offensive set. The combination of his experience of getting to the Conference Finals and CP3’s veteran savvy and determination could make the Thunder a deadly threat out West, making them a dark horse.
Player #4: Lou Williams
We come to another Sixth Man of the Year candidate, Lou Williams. Not only is Williams the defending Sixth Man of the Year, but he is also a professional bucket-getter. He may not provide much on the defensive end, but offensively, he can be just as deadly as his running mates, Paul George, and Kawhi Leonard. Williams is a crafty veteran who now has a lot of fire-power to help him with a deep playoff push. Williams has played for the likes of the 76ers, Hawks, Raptors, Lakers, Rockets, and now the Clippers. He seems to have finally found a home with the Clippers.
This season, Williams is coming into the playoffs with numbers of 18.2 points, 5.6 assists, and a true shooting percentage of 56.4 percent. Williams is a high-volume shooter and scorer who would be starting on many other teams in the league. For the Clippers, he fits their mold perfectly. He is content being one of the deadliest Sixth men in the NBA. Looking at the Los Angeles Clippers’ depth makes one do a double-take (we did not even touch on Montrezl Harrell), especially with Lou Williams putting up what some may consider All-Star numbers. Williams will be the X-factor for the Clippers‘ quest for their first championship.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images