NBA's Most Underrated Players
The Spurs are a completely different team without him as evident in the Memphis series last year when he was hurt. A healthy Ginobli makes the Spurs such a sleeper in the Western Xonference. An amazing stat on Ginobli is that he only played 28 minutes per game in his career. In a 36 minute clip, he would be scoring 22 points per game with five rebounds and five assists. He is clutch and very efficient and an excellent defensive player.
For the most part, basketball fans respect him, but I am not sure if people really understand how good he is, which is why even at age 34, he makes this list. He was a major part of three championships and perhaps one of the best players to come out of Argentina. He is a two time All-Star--odd considering how he has had better numbers in non All-Star years.
There you have it right there. The coaches don't even value him enough to put him on the All-Star team in a consistent basis. Guys like him get undervalued because they don't have really gaudy numbers, but the fact of the matter is, he has been part of the most successful franchise of the last decade (besides the Los Angelels Lakers). Ginobli is a true team player in every sense of the word.
7) Gerald Wallace
The man nicknamed "Crash" would be on the all-decade underrated team. His skill to play multiple positions, defend, rebound, get steals, run in transition, and his ability to fit into any NBA system make him extremely valuable. Ponder it in your head and start putting Wallace on any team in the NBA. I challenge you to tell me where he doesn't fit. One would think in the short history of the Carlotte Bobcats, he has been their greatest player, leading them to the playoffs in 2010. Anyone who plays fantasy basketball knows what Wallace is capable of numbers-wise.
Now a 10-year NBA veteran, I am not sure he gets any of the credit he deserves for playing both sides of the ball, mainly due to the fact he was on a rising expansion team through his prime. He seems to be one of those few players that can go to any team and instantly make them better without being a star.
6) Tony Allen
Who you ask? Yes, Tony Allen.
Allen one is of the best on-ball defenders in the NBA knows and his role better than most. He was a big part of the Boston Celtics' title run in 2008 and their deep runs in 2009 and 2010. Allen is an old school ball hawk, much out of the mold of Gerald Wilkins. In my opinion, he was a huge reason for the Memphis Grizzlies' deep run last season. He's not a explosive scorer, but as I love to emphasize into the ground, he is an efficient one. Allen is a hard-nosed player that any coach wants to complete his team. It felt like the Celtics made a huge error in judgement letting him go. They sure could have used his defense against LeBron James last year when Boston lost to Miami.
Allen provides about 1.5 steals per game, which some of you might say is not a big deal, but when you factor in that he plays 26 minutes per night--it is a big deal. Per 36 mins, he gets 2.5 steals a night. He is good athletic hardhat-type player that never tries to go out of his mold and be something he is not. Last season, at age 30, he was finally acknowledged by the league as he was voted on the Second Team All-Defensive team. In my personal opinion, he should have been first over Kobe Bryant, who seemed to get on there more due to star power.
5) Mike Conley
Back to back Grizzlies on the list. Memphis is doing something right over there. On a team with a crop of underrated players, it is possible Conley is the most undervalued. The league is full of flashy point guards looking to score or shoot at the drop of a hat. Conley is the son of former olympic triple jumper Mike Conley (seen here in this celebrity Dunk contest - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29TixSRcEA4).
Conley has that flash and style in his blood and still remains extremely fundamentally sound. His numbers aren't flashy for Conley at around 13 points and seven assists, but he stabilizes the offense and plays excellent defense as evident always amongst leaders in steals per game. He has been quite the iron man for the up-and-coming Grizzlies, playing over 80 games each the last three years. His game is similar to his head coach Lionel Hollins, who was the same type of player for the Sixers in the '70s.
Conley's shooting is actually underrated. The notion he is not a good three point shooter couldn't be more wrong. In fact the last two years he has buried over 160 threes at a 37-percent clip. As always i run around screaming about efficiency and Conley has got it. Low turnover guard, good defender, and pretty efficient = UNDERRATED. Oh by the way he is only 24 years old. To say he is a top flight point guard is stretching it, but we can agree he is a valuable to a team that doesn't have one.
4) Jose Calderon
Born Jose Manuel Calderon Borallo, Calderon continues to be one of the best kept secrets in the NBA at the point guard position. He may be a poor man's Steve Nash, as he is third in the league in assists ahead of Chris Paul, who is throwing lobs all day to Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Calderon is one of the most fundamentally sound point guards in the league. Now at age 30, I fear his career may go by without a peep because he played on the Toronto Raptors.