Thursday, March 24, 2011

NBA Most Underrated

It is a common topic within any sports community, who is the most "underrated" player. What qualifies a player as underrated? Salary? All-Star votes? Followers on Twitter? Whatever the logic one chooses, every list, without fail, stirs some type of debate. It is one of the many beauties of athletics.
Top Underrated NBA players is compiled on a wide range of sources. As I am currently reading Jonah Keri"s The Extra 2%, my mind is forcing itself to look beyond the traditional statistics. Thus, along with personal perception and traditional stat lines (i.e PPG/RPG/APG), I will also be incorporating Hollinger's saber-metric system ratings. (No Big Baby, you will not be in this list I don't  care how much you try and say you deserve it.)

That attachment to her shoulder is
Nets forward Kris Humphries.
10. Kris Humphries PF-Nets- I should probably show you his 10.2 rebounds per game or the fact that he his shooting 53% from the field. Maybe, mentioning his 17.86 PER (Player Efficiency Rating) would convince you. What if I told you this guy landed a Kardashian? Now you understand why he is underrated.

9. Danny Granger SF-Pacers- Scoring 20 points a game is enough to justify the offense running through him even though he is only pulling 2 rebounds  per game. Leading the Pacers to playoff contention, even after a coaching change, seems to go unnoticed.

8. Dwight Howard C- Magic- That is correct. 23 PPG, 14.3 RPG and a PER of 26.27 (2nd in the NBA) and he still does not get the respect that he deserves. He is officiated differently than any other superstar. His supporting cast is dependent on the "three" ball far too much to be considered a legitimate threat in the playoffs. Yet, he continues to dominate the NBA and lead his team to contention every year.

7. Luol Deng SF-Bulls- Derrick Rose is the flavor of the month and deservedly so. However, without Deng the Bulls would lose not only 17 points a game but also their top perimeter defender. According to Hollinger, if Deng were not on the Bulls, they could expect a 7 win/loss differential. According to a report by the Chicago Tribune, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Deng is an "All League defender, he guards everybody."  Pretty substantial for a guy we never hear about.

6. Nene C-Nuggets- He has no stat line that stands out to you. He only brings in 7 rebounds a game, little offensive production but he is always around. Watch the Nuggets and you cannot help but notice Nene. He is the Gruden of the NBA, nothing great but for some reason he is all over my television.

5. Monta Ellis SG-Warriors- Electric comes to mind. So does Allen Iverson but we will instead focus on electric. Bringing 24 points into every game along with almost 6 assists, Ellis finds himself overshadowed by Steph Curry and the obscurity that is due to the Warriors being forever irrelevant.

4. Kevin Martin SG- Rockets- Top 20 in both PER and EWA (estimated wins over replacement) as well as 23 points a game and somehow he continues to go unmentioned by most media outlets. Sure, winning will alleviate some of this issue but the man has game regardless of wins and losses.

3. Kevin Love PF/C- Timberwolves- How does a guy whose historic double-double streak made nightly highlights make the underrated list? Did you know that besides his 20 points and 15 rebounds per game he has an estimated win/loss differential of 16.5. Here is a little perspective. Kobe Bryant has a 15.9, Nash has 11.7 and Dirk has 13.7. Those three have 4 regular season MVPs.

2. Russell Westbrook PG- Thunder- He barely made the All Star team, and when you mention Thunder, Kevin Durant instantly enters one's mind (for good reason). However, on any other team Westbrook would be the face of the team. Derrick Rose is considered by most to be the runaway MVP. Rose and Westbrook are 1 and 2 in scoring by PGs. As far as PER, APG, RPG and Steal per game; Westbrook leads Rose.

1. Zach Randolph PF-Grizzlies- Is this the same guy who was traded by numerous teams because of character issues and work ethic? On a team with Rudy Gay (if I ever write an "Overrated" list I believe I have a lead candidate), OJ Mayo, and Mark Gasol, Randolph is the catalyst. Averaging 20 PPG as well as 12.3 RPG, Randolph has carried the Grizzlies to playoff contention in the Western Conference and you never even heard about it.

No comments:

Post a Comment