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It seems like in every sport at every level, there is always a non-heralded player who plays a key role in his or team’s postseason run. Stars will be stars, but that one “role player” who steps up can sometimes be the difference a playoff series. Trying to identify that player beforehand could be a difficult task, which is why we hand it over to the Bloggers Roundtable.

Today, Steve Berman (Bay Area Sports Guy), Ethan Sherwood Strauss (WarriorsWorld & ESPN.com), Ben Cruz (Bleacher Report), Adam Lauridsen (Fast Break) and Rich Twu (Golden State of Mind) offer their opinion on the question below.

Other than the usual suspects, which Warriors player is most likely to play a starring role in the playoffs?

Steve Berman | Bay Area Sports Guy | @BASportsGuy
Although it's hard to call a guy who scores over 16 points game an under-the-radar type of player, Klay Thompson seems like the likeliest star other than the Warriors' two biggest stars, Stephen Curry and David Lee. Whoever the Warriors face will focus most of their energies on stopping Curry from going off from behind the arc, which should leave Thompson open more often than we saw during the regular season.

Ethan Sherwood Strauss | WarriorsWorld & ESPN.com | @SherwoodStrauss
I won't go out on the "Festus Ezeli will drop 50 points on someone" limb, but I will say that Klay Thompson is a good candidate for a star turn. His game recently, dramatically evolved. Thompson's posting up on the block more than ever and the results have been surprisingly good. Should the Warriors face off against small backcourts, Klay could have a lot of success. Even if he doesn't score big, the post ups open up a lot of strategic options for the Warriors.

Klay Thompson has become more than just a perimeter shooter, and he's a popular choice among this panel to have a breakout performance. (photo: Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty)

Ben Cruz | Bleacher Report | @cruzkontrol
The most important player for the Warriors is going to be Jarrett Jack. Aside from being one of the leaders on and off the court, Jack is one of the few Warriors with actual playoff experience. Playoff games are a completely different atmosphere than the regular season and someone needs to be there to help guide the ship down those rocky waters. Although he isn't the only one on the team who's been fortunate enough to participate in the postseason, he will be playing a much bigger role than some of the other veterans. Jack's ability to stabilize the offense and be a calming presence for this young Warriors team has been key to Golden State's success this season (and throwing his name into the 6th Man of the Year race along the way) and should only continue in the playoffs.

Adam Lauridsen | Fast Break | @GSWFastBreak
Jarrett Jack. The key to the Warriors advancing past the first round will be finding a way to get Curry decent looks. If Curry plays off the ball at the end of games, it'll be up to Jack to find him. If Curry plays with the ball, Jack will be one of his leading dump-off options when the defensive pressure begins to swarm. Either way, I expect the Warriors' super-sub to be at the center of the action. Jack has faded a bit on defense in the second half of the season, but he's still a tough and heady player. He's the type of guy you want on your side for playoff basketball – physically and mentally tough. My sleeper pick is Festus Ezeli. If Bogut isn't 100% (a safe assumption at this point), Ezeli should see meaningful minutes. If he plays with the explosiveness and confidence he displayed Monday against the Spurs, he'll get some well-deserved attention.

Rich Twu | Golden State of Mind | @poormanscommish
I think I can count at least four "usual suspects" (Curry, Klay, D.Lee, Jack), which for this franchise is tremendous. That being said, other than them, as we saw on Monday night, the most likely potential star in the playoffs is Harrison Barnes. He has the ability to change momentum with a spectacular play, even in the halfcourt set, which will be a lot more prevalent in the playoffs. Hopefully his upward slope in improvement throughout this season can improve on into the playoffs.

BONUS QUESTION: What was the Warriors' biggest win of the regular season?

Adam Lauridsen | Fast Break | @GSWFastBreak
At Miami, December 12, 2012. Any win against the Heat is big, but this one was extra special because of the way they won it and the circumstances. After losing so many close games in years past because of one-on-one hero ball, the Warriors executed a beautiful backdoor play to get a lay-up (!) against one of the league's best defenses. The Warriors also put themselves in a position to win thanks to aggressive and smart defense. In terms of context, the win came five games into a seven game road-trip. It was this team's first victory over an elite team and helped cement the confidence and camaraderie that's been such a positive force this season. The Warriors realized how good they could be.

Rich Twu | Golden State of Mind | @poormanscommish
The last-second win at Miami. Remember, that night, Miami did play well. LeBron had typical LeBron production. That thrilling win, with a final play that required execution and high IQ, gave this young team the confidence they needed, in terms of "We Belong."

Where does the December 12th thriller in Miami rank among your best Warriors wins of the season? (photo: Issac Baldizon/NBAE/Getty)

Steve Berman | Bay Area Sports Guy | @BASportsGuy
I'm tempted to go with the 30-point win in Houston after getting shellacked at home against Chicago, considering how much trouble the Warriors had against the Rockets this season. But instead I'm taking the win in Miami. The Warriors pulled off this upset way back in December, when nobody really knew what to expect from the team as they embarked on a seven-game East Coast road trip. Then the Warriors forced Miami to commit 17 turnovers, David Lee knocked LeBron James to the floor, and Golden State escaped with a two-point win in what was one of the most exciting games of the season between any two teams. After the Warriors went 6-1 on that trip, the expectations had changed from "maybe they're a bit better than last year" to "this team could make the playoffs."

Ethan Sherwood Strauss | WarriorsWorld & ESPN.com | @SherwoodStrauss
That March 17th 108-78 crushing of the Rockets is of much retrospective importance. The road win boosted GSW's overall playoff chances while also giving the Warriors a game from another team vying for the sixth seed. Even if that weren't the case, the win had some subjective, emotional import. The Rockets had dominated the Warriors in the three prior matchups, and Golden State was coming off a brutal home loss blowout to the Chicago Bulls. True or not, it certainly felt like the Houston game turned the season around.

Ben Cruz | Bleacher Report | @cruzkontrol
The biggest win of the season for Golden State would have to be their thrilling victory over the defending champion Miami Heat in Miami on December 12th. Up until that date, the Warriors had been a pleasant surprise around the league due to the impressive record they had put together without Andrew Bogut. However, it remained to be seen if the Warriors were truly a force to be reckoned with or just a team catching enough breaks to put together a solid record. The Heat threw everything they had at Mark Jackson's crew. After a tight, back and forth battle, the ball ended up in Golden State's possession with a chance to steal a win. In previous seasons, luck would not typically side with the Warriors in these situations. Too many times, the game-winning or game-tying shot rimmed out or wasn't even attempted. As Jarrett Jack let the clock drain down, a wide open Draymond Green cut to the basket and took Jack's pass and put it through the hoop. Not only had the Dubs found a way to beat a much better team, but they did so in a high-pressure situation. After that game, it seemed like the entire basketball universe started to take notice of who these guys were … And rightfully so.


Stay tuned for more from this 'Bloggers Roundtable' throughout the postseason, and access prior discussions among this group by clicking here.

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