- David Thorpe, NBA
It's easy for us to forget sometimes that the playoffs started in April. Teams that win titles, however, don't forget. They know that how they started the postseason carried an awful lot of weight toward how they ended it.
The Spurs faced their toughest test, surprisingly, against the eighth-seeded Mavericks in Round 1. And the man who anchored San Antonio's defense and crushed everyone in the paint on offense in that series was Tim Duncan, who did the same things in every subsequent series.
It is arguable as to who was the Spurs' most valuable player of the Finals, and certainly Kawhi Leonard was terrific and deserving of the Finals MVP trophy. It is clear, though, that one man stands tallest when discussing the best player since the start of the playoffs. King James has worn this crown for years, and deservedly so, but there is a new Postseason King this year. Long Live King Duncan V.
Who have been the best performers of the 2014 playoffs? David Thorpe runs down his leaders.