Whether it’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, Lebron James, Stephen Curry or any other perennial MVP candidates, NBA stars tend to get all the attention in the game. However, you can also bet that by the time the next league champions are crowned in June, there will be a low-profile player playing a crucial role.
Here are the potential biggest “X-Factor” players you might want to keep your eyes on as you prepare to bet on NBA games oddsshark.com before the regular season starting Tuesday (October 19).
De’Andre Hunter: Atlanta Hawks
At the start of the 2020/2021 season, De’Andre Hunter looked like a guy who could score 20 points with solid efficiency and he averaged 17.2 points with 2.2 assists and 5.4 rebounds. Unfortunately, a knee injury ended his season early.
With Trae Young being a foul, the Falcons can surround De’Andre with their four limited backs and he still won’t have a problem scoring. However, if De’Andre continues to be a defensive star striker who extends from the dribble game, the Falcons could have the ideal running mate for Trae Young.
Robert Williams III: Boston Celtics
Robert Williams III has a unique combination of size, athleticism and a surprising sense of the track, which makes most fans feel that the 23-year-old center will soon become something special. However, it is risky to expect so much from Williams’ passing and vision, as these are auxiliary skills that are not crucial to the rim protection position or interior finish. Nevertheless, his help rate and help-to-use percentage suggest that William can master other key elements of the game.
Blake Griffin: Brooklyn Nets
After joining the Nets from the Detroit Pistons, Blake Griffin played twice as many minutes as a center in the postseason compared to any of his teammates. Griffin shot it well from the depths, displayed good vision and also helped defensively.
With LaMarcus Aldridge back and Paul Millsap on board, the Nets will still have options if Griffin’s revival fails. This is without mentioning the rank of Nicolas Claxton, who might deserve the x-factor spot if the Nets chose to give him a real chance over Griffin.
Isaac Okoro: Cleveland Cavaliers
On his way to his second season with the Cavaliers, Isak Okoro is the largest perimeter defender in Cleveland at the moment. Okoro is not only good specifically with the Cavaliers, as he is poised to become an elite wing-back in the NBA. However, if he manages to become a good shooter, rising from the 29% he scored last year with 3-point attempts to reach the league average of around 35%, he could reach a completely different level . He can also try to get a role on the offense in his quest.
Victor Oladipo: Miami Heat
With Lowry, Herro and Robinson on the team, there are many players who could become the “X-factor” in the Heat’s group. However, the most likely option for the place will be Victor Oladipo. Victor may never be able to rise back to his All-Star form, but if he succeeds in becoming a versatile wing defender who stretches the floor and attacks the edge, Miami will have their chances of winning the title drastically improved by swapping for additional players.
RJ Barret: New York Knicks
RJ Barrett is a key piece to the success of the New York Knicks. The Knicks currently lack enough wing-backs and if Barret suffers a serious injury that will take him out of the game, the team will be in serious trouble throughout their campaign.
Patrick Williams: Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls are dependent on three substandard defenders, who are expected to get solid playing time due to their unmistakable offensive hold. However, with their roster highly dependent on Nikola Vucevic, DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine, someone will have to start choosing the defensive clearance. That person could be Patrick William.
Patrick, a second-year forward, may not be able to cover 60% of Chicago’s best series like the leading Daymonmd Green, but he has regularly guarded the opposition in the toughest games as a rookie. On top of that, Williams may be the only hope for the Bulls to delay opposing offenses after Thadeus Young’s departure.
Ben Simmons: Philadelphia 76ers
If Philadelphia does not trade Ben Simmond or does not get a ball handler in exchange for him, they will have to hand over their offense to Tyrese Maxey. However, it is safe to say that Simmond will change the Sixers character this season despite his refusal to sign up for training camp. On top of that, there is no other player who is apparently the X-factor in the franchise, even though he is in a state of limbo.
OG Anunoby: Toronto Raptors
OG Anunoby is a versatile defensive player who has mastered long-range scoring. He also managed to improve his dribble and the ability to create shots. As such, if he is able to generate consistent offense, the Toronto Raptors will get a chance to return after the offseason.