The 2017 NBA Finals boast an immense amount of star power. It could be argued that this year’s championship round features more talent on both sides than in any year in recent memory. With that as the backdrop, there will be plenty of attention on LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and others throughout the next couple of weeks.
There are other match-ups to watch, though, and that is where role players come in. Remember when the Warriors claimed the 2015 title with Andre Iguodala as a centerpiece? Remember when Tristan Thompson made play after play to aid Cleveland in capturing the 2016 title? Those are just a couple of examples of off-the-radar contributors coming through in a massive way and someone will make that level of impact in the 2017 edition.
In this space, we will rank the role players that are almost certainly going to be a part of the series. With apologies to James Michael McAdoo, Dahntay Jones, and others, we will only be including 13 total players in the mix, if only because they have been included in the “regular” playoff rotation for both teams. For good measure, the top end does not include any “star”-level player, removing seven players (four from GSW, three from CLE) from the mix.
Now, let’s break it down.