Colin Cowherd’s 10 most valuable people in the 2018 NBA Playoffs

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Colin Cowherd's 10 most valuable people in the 2018 NBA Playoffs.

- So let's start with number 1. I think it's very obvious. This isn't because I think Lebron's great. Basically over the last four playoffs, LeBron is 44 and 9 against the East, averaging 34.3 points a game. They're basically 31 and 5 when Lebron scores 30 or more. He is the one player has it shown that he can single-handedly, Toronto, beat a team.

Let's be honest. He got very little support from his second-best player, Kevin Love, against Indiana and won the series. Lebron's the most valuable person in these playoffs for his team. May surprise you, I would say Brad Stevens. This is a very young team. Young kids and young players are impressionable.

They went 7 and 0 so far at home in the postseason. They did not have as good a players as Milwaukee. They don't. They do not have two stars like Philadelphia. Name another team in the last 10 years that won back-to-back series facing three superstars-- three stars. And he doesn't have any.

And their go-to players are Al Horford, 20-year-old Jayson Tatum, and 21-year-old Jaylen Brown. Brad Stevens, to me, is the only reason you give Boston a chance to beat Cleveland. It ain't Terry Rozier, and it's not Horford. It's Brad Stevens defending LeBron.

Number 3. Chris Paul. Whoa, whoa, whoa. What about the Rockets are 58 and 10 when he plays. OK, the Rockets are 27 and 3 when he scores just 20. Better than any Harden stat when he scores 20. He's not flashy. But they won 10 games more this year and got to the Eastern Conference finals, because Chris Paul arrived.

Ask yourself this. What is the reason you think Houston has a chance here? It's not James Harden. They had James Harden last year. The reason you think they have a chance is if Chris Paul is substantial in four or five games in this series.

You don't think they're going to win because of Clint Capela. You don't think they're going to win because of Mike D'Antoni. And you don't even think they're going to win because of James Harden. We've seen that act before. You believe they can beat Golden State if this guy plays. That's more valuable than James Harden.

Let's be honest-- Steph Curry is the straw that stirs this drink. They're 44 and 11 this year when Curry plays. Not only that, their tempo when he left slowed considerably. What makes them a special team is their spacing, their intelligence, their ball handling, and their shooting. He's great at all of them. And he is unquestionably the motor that drives this machine.

Klay Thompson. If I said to you, Klay Thompson is going to give James Harden fits, what do you think's going to happen in the series? By the way, Harden is shooting 38 and 1/2% versus Golden State over the last three years. Do you realize that?

That James Harden, the one guy in the league that gives James Harden trouble is Klay Thompson. You take Klay Thompson out of this series, Houston is a coin flip to me. Klay Thompson's defense is the one annoyance in the league that separates Golden State from Houston.

Harden shoots 38 and 1/2% over the last three years against when Clay's guarding him. James Harden-- he's great. But he's 2 and 8 against the Warriors in the playoffs. And the Rockets are 5 and 0 this postseason when he scores 25 or less.

I'm not saying he's not great. He is. He's going to win the MVP. They win when he has off-nights. Did you just see what happened in their last series? He was sick and played poorly. And they won going away. Don't confuse volume and points and shots with valuable.

Number 6. Excuse me, 7, I can't count. Kevin Love. Pretty simple. When he scores just over 10 points, the Cavs are 6 and 1 in the playoffs. When he scores under it and struggles, they're 2 and 2. Listen, Lebron's not beating Boston by himself. He's not. He needs Kevin Love to play at that All-Star, Kevin Love, 18, 8 level.

And as great as LeBron is, the reason-- this is lost in all this. Kevin Love had a great series against Toronto, the number 1 seed. And they swept them. Kevin Love had one of his worst all-time playoff series against Indiana. And Sabonis and Victor Oladipo and Lance Stevenson took him to 7. He is the most important LeBron teammate.

Draymond Green. Again, I think he's the bouncer in a bar full of guys that wear skinny jeans. I think Draymond Green-- this team is 50 and 3 when he gives you 10-plus assists. Here's the other thing-- I may be wrong on this. I think he averaged a triple-double in the last series. I'm not sure any player in the playoffs, so far, has averaged a triple-double.

Draymond Green is the counter-punch to Golden State. Klay can shoot. Durant can shoot. Steph can shoot. Who does the dirty work? He's the Rodman of the Bulls. Draymond Green, number 8 in most valuable person.

Mike D'Antoni. He cannot get worked over by Steve Kerr and the staff. OK. They do the pick and roll really well. Here's what they don't-- anything besides the pick and roll. He is going to be a key element in this series. He has got to have a second and third punch.

Golden State's got more good players, more layers, an extremely solid coaching. Mike D'Antoni, the pressure is on here to give me something beyond the pick and roll. I know what you're saying. coward, you're out of your gourd. This is my entire point.

Kevin Durant's great. If I told you Kevin Durant scored 22 and 1/2 points in this series, you'd go all right. Steph was great. Klay shut down Harden. And Draymond gave you those triple-doubles. Durant-- remember, this team won 73 regular season games without Durant. They won an NBA championship without Durant.

Durant's a great player-- probably the second-best basketball player, in terms of talent on the earth. But they're 21 and 10 with K.D. And without Steph. They're a really good team with Durant and no Steph. They're a great team when you add Steph. So in terms of valuable, it's a word we've always been confused by and struggle with. There is my top 10.