SPORTS
04/18/2013 04:04 pm ET

NBA Playoff X-Factors In The Western Conference Include Eric Bledsoe And JaVale McGee

What will Thunder head coach Scott Brooks do if Russell Westbrook reverts to "hero ball"? What happens when Chris Paul picks up three fouls in the first half? Enter the X-factor!

Oklahoma City Thunder: Reggie Jackson

Jackson has a terrific speed on the open floor and can be a great five-minute reprieve for Russell Westbrook. His near 14 PER is a welcome sign for Brooks.

San Antonio Spurs: DeJuan Blair

Similar to Brooklyn's power forward Reggie Evans, Blair is an undersized workhorse on the glass who creates second chances and transition opportunities for the Spurs, albeit in limited minutes.

Denver Nuggets: JaVale McGee

Perhaps Mcgee hasn't lived up to his four-year, $44 million contract yet, but the 7-footer is a real game-changer when he protects the paint. His impressive PER of 21 is the highest on the team.

Los Angeles Clippers: Eric Bledsoe

Bledsoe -- whom LA opted not to deal at the deadline -- has a unique combination of elite quickness and athleticism, and can play on and off the ball. If he stays under control, he can be a real boon to the Clippers.

Memphis Grizzlies: Jerryd Bayless

With Rudy Gay traded to Toronto, Bayless can provide scoring from the perimeter for a team that needs to do just that. He doesn't do much else, but he needs to play well if Memphis is to make a run.

Golden State Warriors: Jarrett Jack

Another guy playing the best basketball of his career, Jack has been marvelous pretty much all year. He's hit game-winners and been a steadying force for one of the league's youngest rosters. Jack's 13 points and 5.5 assists, combined with the brilliant play of Stephen Curry, is a real threat.

Los Angeles Lakers: Antawn Jamison

The Lakers will need scoring from someone without Kobe Bryant, and the 36-year-old Jamison is their best bet. Always one of the most versatile forwards in the NBA, Jamison has the ability to score from anywhere, particularly in a wide-open game.

Houston Rockets: Carlos Delfino

Delfino is enjoying the most efficient season of his career in Houston. He's a 37-percent shooter from deep, but can also make a play or two in the half-court. James Harden and the league's second-highest scoring team rely on him more than anyone else off the bench.

Email me at jordan.schultz@huffingtonpost.com or ask me questions about anything sports-related at @Schultz_Report.

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