X-Factor: Devin Harris
By Rob Peterson
Tim Heitman/NBAE/Getty
Harris' speed separates him from his peers

Speed is a valuable commodity at any time in the NBA, but especially in the playoffs.

Speed can break down a defense. Speed can wreak havoc on defense.

Speed gives a player an advantage on the break, turning the corner on a pick-and-roll or hustling for a loose ball.

The Mavericks' Devin Harris has plenty of speed to burn, and the Mavericks will count on that speed to burn opponents throughout the playoffs.

Most teams know what they're getting when they match up with Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Josh Howard, Jerry Stackhouse and the rest of the Mavs. But what happens if Harris gets to running circles around your defense and starts to be a major league pest in the passing lanes or ballhandlers? What if Harris, one of the fastest players in the NBA, gets out on the break? What if he comes off the bench and scores 21 points as he did against San Antonio on April 15?

What then? How does an opposing coach deal with that when they have all the other Mavs they need to watch?

Harris, an X-Factor? Definitely. The biggest question is: How fast will he become a difference maker?

X-Factors: ACB LBJ | Battier | VC | Harris | Horry | Nellie | Nene | Odom

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