Against the Milwaukee Bucks, it was the bench duo of Fred VanVleet and Norman Powell who stepped out of the shadows and helped propel the Toronto Raptors into the NBA Finals.
Then, it was starting role players Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol who exploded on the scene.
In Game 1 against the Golden State Warriors, Siakam had the best game of his young playoff career with 32 points on an insane 82.4 percent shooting from the field. It seemed everything the Most Improved Player front-runner threw up went in.
Watching Siakam, it was easy to forget that superstar Kawhi Leonard was on the floor.
Heck, sometimes it was easy to forget the Warriors were even on the floor.
The Warriors played one of their worst games of the postseason outside of Stephen Curry's 34 points and Klay Thompson's 21. Other than Draymond Green's quiet triple-double (10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists), no other Warrior scored double digits.
But the story of the game was Siakam, whose play this season has demanded respect from opponents and critics alike.
Just last season, Siakam was a little-known forward with promise, averaging 7.3 points per game.
This season, he is averaging 16.9 points and scored a career high 44 points against the Washington Wizards in February. Since then, everyone has been wondering where did this guy come from, and how on earth is his name pronounced?
Both are good questions. By the way, his name is pronounced (PASS-Cal see-AHK-um) and he is from Douala, Cameroon. He is a second-year player out of New Mexico State, and Toronto drafted him seventh overall in 2016.
Remember those little tidbits, because it doesn't seem like Siakam is going anywhere anytime soon, and according to the gradual rise of his statistics season by season, he's only going to get bigger from here.
Gasol, on the other hand, has had nearly the reverse season of Siakam.
An 11-year man in the NBA after playing five seasons overseas, Gasol is a seasoned vet who made his name as a star in Memphis and as Pau Gasol's younger brother.
He's a former three-time All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year who signed a 5-year, $113 million max contract in 2015 before being traded to Toronto in February.
And with that trade came a whole new dynamic.
Gasol went from being the guy whom the offense runs through on a depleted Grizzlies roster to being a third or fourth option with the title-contending Raptors. Sometimes even coming off the bench.
He has averaged double-figure scoring every season of his career, but since his move to Toronto that average has dropped to 9.1 points per game.
Gasol wasn't getting the same type of respect or touches in Toronto as he had down South. But with that being said, it made him a key player that could fly under the radar just to resurface and remind people who he is during the Finals.
The big man averaged 8.7 points in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the 76ers and 8.5 in the Eastern finals against the Bucks.
But in Game 1, Gasol put 20 points on the board on 60 percent shooting as the team's third-leading scorer behind Siakam and Leonard (23 points).
The Raptors' other star, Kyle Lowry, had only seven points in Game 1.
Some critics are already counting the Warriors out after their lack of urgency allowed the Raptors to win, even with Lowry's subpar performance.
But the Warriors aren't the type of team to count out. They are the two-time reigning champions, after all.
And making Stephen Curry and Draymond Green mad the way a certain celebrity super-fan did with his sideline antics is never a good idea.
Remember when the Houston Rockets' Chris Paul kicked Curry off the court of the Toyota Center the night before Game 6 of the Western semis?
Remember how Curry erupted 24 hours later with 33 points and a dagger 3-pointer to kick the Rockets out of the playoffs?
Heading back to the locker room after the win, Curry was recorded yelling "Kick me off the court again, boy!" in response to the incident the night before.
The Warriors will come back in Game 2 with a revamped mindset and motivated players.
Not to mention, they still have one of the best players in the world in Kevin Durant. He is still nursing a calf injury but is eager to return to the Finals, though he will miss Sunday's contest.
But can young Siakam and the Raptors' role players continue to play at such a high level? They'll need a player shooting over 80 percent like Siakam did Thursday but on a consistent basis if they're going to win four games against the Warriors, especially if Lowry regresses back to his old ways of going ghost during the playoffs.
With Game 2 Sunday, it'll be interesting to see which Raptor goes on a tear, and if it'll be enough to keep Toronto's foot on Golden State's neck for a 2-0 lead heading to Oakland.