NBA Playoffs: 5 X-Factors who will decide the Conference Finals

Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics NBA (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics NBA (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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Advancing to the NBA Finals is a dream come true for players in the association. Hours of hard work are cashed in for the chance to compete for a title. This year’s Conference Finals matchups will keep fans entertained leading up to the main event. Erik Spoelstra and the Miami Heat will take on the Boston Celtics while the Los Angeles Lakers battle the Denver Nuggets.

Finals implications will force each team’s X-factors to perform on a high level. After exciting Game 1 performances,  which players can we expect to shine in the clutch in this round of the NBA playoffs?

NBA X-Factor #5: Jamal Murray

Defeating the Lakers is a challenge but the Nuggets have enough star power to complete the job. Nikola Jokic is unstoppable. Defenses cling to his jersey – presenting shooters with an open look at the basket. Jamal Murray is one of those shooters. His playmaking and scoring abilities complement Jokic well – resulting in easy points. Murray is ranked 11th in points per game this postseason (26.3) and contributes on both sides of the ball. A 31-point showing on Tuesday helped Denver capture Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. He is a catalyst for his team – even a game-changer if necessary.