It’s all star time and there are a few guys who just continue to put up numbers but you don’t really hear a lot about them getting some all star considerations. They aren’t fan favorites because they play in markets where voting isn’t likely and the teams they play for are either loaded with more recognizable talent or they will get overlooked because they are on a team that is just awful.
Having the NBA League Pass the past couple of seasons, I have been able to see a lot of basketball. I have watched games that the average fan wouldn’t even bother to watch. That’s me though, I am a sports fanatic and I just have an appreciation for the game. I am that dude who could walk by a gym, see a good game of pickup basketball or a good game of one on one and I will stop to see if it is going to be a battle. Competition is the spice of life for me. Since I was young G, the thrill of the game made me appreciate the ability of others, that most people take for granted. I see the quiet assassin on the team. I see the person that is the glue. I see the hot man off the bench. I also see the guy who does all of the dirty work (the blue collar guy).
With that being said, I decided that it was time to do an NBA’s ten most unappreciated list. These are the guys who just get it done, night after night and people have either just started to take notice or they have taken it for granted. Take a look at the list:
10. Chris Douglas-Roberts - Milwaukee Bucks - CDR or Law firm as he is often called exploded last year as an impact player for the New Jersey Nets. He resurfaced in Milwaukee this season and has not let up off the throttle yet. CDR can go for 30 on any given night. If he were a better free throw shooter, he would be further up the list.
9. Josh Smith - Atlanta Hawks - Probably one of the best 5 athletes in the NBA. He can run, jump, defend and he is very exciting. The only problem I have with him is his ability to shoot the jump shot. If he does get a jumper, he becomes an instant all star.
8. Rodney Stuckey - Detroit Pistons - One of the best off the dribble players in the NBA. He can score on anyone at any time. He even has the ability to elevate and score which is rare at the point guard position.
7. Monte Ellis - Golden State Warriors - Having seen Monte play a high school game, I knew this kid was destined to be great. The man is an offensive machine. Not to mention that he one of the best off the ball defenders in the NBA.
6. Lemarcus Aldridge - Portland Trail Blazers - The young man is a monster in the league right now and not many people are noticing. He fills up stat sheets and is third in the league in points in the paint. He has been everything the Blazers hoped oft injured Greg Oden would be.
5. Kevin Martin – Houston Rockets – The man is a stat box stuffer. He is almost a must have on your fantasy team every season. He has the ability to go off every night. He doesn’t get the appreciation he deserves because he isn’t flashy, he just gets it done.
4. J.R. Smith – Denver Nuggets – I can’t say a lot more about this guy. He just gets buckets. He has earned the name J.R. Swish because he comes in off the bench and at any point from any area on the floor, he can put the biscuit in the basket. His offensive game gets a lot of credit, but his defense is underrated as he usually does a good job on opposing players.
3. Devin Harris – New Jersey Nets – No doubt the man is one of the elite point guards in the league. He is just stuck in NBA purgatory right now. No real go to guy to play along side and his big man has been fighting off injuries most of the season. Needless to say when he was on a relevant team, he was considered a top 3 point guard. Now he just destroys his opponent but to no avail as he plays for an NBA bottom feeder.
2. Zach Randolph – Memphis Grizzlies – Yeah he was an all star last season, but that was an aberration. His numbers are similar this year but the Grizzlies aren’t winning with the same frequency as seasons past. Zack finally got his life and his game together and is having another season to remember. Hopefully he can continue his ways and keep getting better.
1. Al Horford – Atlanta Hawks – The guy is a throw back player. He gets it done on both ends of the court. Unlike his counter part in college Joakim Noah, Horford has been quietly dismantling folks in the Eastern conference. Horford continues to impress but is often overlooked as a dominant inside player because he is an undersized center. Don’t get it twisted though; the man will dominate you if you come into the game sleeping on his size and ability.