Players vital to postseason success
Nick Collison, Shane Battier, Tiago Splitter are critical for their teams
From Bob Gross to Steve Kerr to Robert Horry to Trevor Ariza to J.J. Barea, role players emerge almost every season to have a major impact in the playoffs. Last season, it was Barea's ability to waterbug around the Heat defense that helped the Mavericks to their first NBA crown. For this edition of Projection versus Production, we're going to look at three players who could turn up as key factors in determining which team is going to take the next title. As always, we'll focus on one overachiever, one underachiever and one guy who is doing what he's supposed to do. These players could all play important roles for their respective clubs in the playoffs.
Our projection system SCHOENE forecasts a full suite of our favorite metrics, but the bottom-line number to watch for is WARP, which measures how many more wins a player adds to his team's total than a freely available guy plucked off the scrap heap. While no single number can capture everything that happens in an interdynamic team sport like hoops, WARP points you in the right direction. When you see a WARP number that surprises you -- and remember, we know when to be surprised because we've predicted all these WARP scores -- the next step is to ask why. All the WARP numbers you see in this article have been prorated to 82 games, just to give the results an air of normalcy in this abbreviated NBA season.
Better than we thought
To read the full article here on why Nick Collison, Shane Batter and Tiaggo Splitter are vital in the postseason, and gain complete access to Insider's NBA coverage, sign up today.
MORE NBA HEADLINES
- Cavs' James after loss: 'Not a very good team'
- Nowitzki keys Mavs' rally to put away Thunder
- Suns spoil Kobe's return for 6th straight win
- Spurs win to snap 6-game skid vs. Rockets
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
- Vintage Dirk Delivers For Mavs
- Starting at center for an injured Tyson Chandler, Dirk Nowitzki dropped 30 on OKC as the Mavs held on.