5 NBA stars who are criminally underrated

Lee Connor March 31, 2020
5 NBA stars who are criminally underrated

The NBA season is, like most things, in full shut-down at the moment thanks to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

It’s meant a whole raft of changes and questions in the offing for the home of basketball. Narratives such as who will win the NBA Championship, who will be crowned MVP, and how the upcoming NBA draft will pan out all remain unanswered as things stand.

One of the other unanswerables at the moment is who will win the Sixth Man of the Year award. Normally, this goes to a player coming off the bench. It’s usually a player whose value to a team is recognised within the game but might not necessarily get the praise from fans or media.

With that, there are a host of NBA players who fall into this category. Underrated, undervalued or however you want to term it, the NBA consists of countless players who are stars without being given the star treatment.

So, as the NBA season takes a break, here’s a look at FIVE NBA players we think are criminally underrated.

Avery Bradley

While a lot of NBA fans will simply look at the stats around points and assists when it comes to shooting or point guards, the case for Avery Bradley runs deeper.

He’s below 10ppg this season but has offered the Lakers a different dynamic since being traded to help out Lebron James.

Bradley offers exceptional perimeter defence and on occasion, such as against the Clippers recently, he can catch fire from three-point range.

Montrezl Harrell

It speaks volumes about Harrell that despite coming off the bench for the Clippers, he is one of their top point scorers and rebound grabbers.

He’s over the 18ppg mark this season and brings in 7rpg too.

His impact, along with Lou Williams, off the bench for the Clippers shouldn’t be underestimated. While Williams gets the headlines most of the time for his ability to hit shots from distance, it’s often Harrell who changes the dynamic of a game.

Jrue Holiday

The New Orleans Pelicans star rarely gets mentioned when people talk about top point guards in the league.

The likes of Steph Curry, Kyrie Irving, and Russell Westbrook are often the ones to grab the headlines and pack the stat lines.

However, Holiday is a key cog for the Pels. He has size, length, and scoring ability that few guards possess. Just shy of 20ppg this year and 7apg show how talented he is.

Indeed, in his last game against Minnesota, Holiday saw the Pelicans home with a 37 point display. In a time when so much focus is on Zion Williamson, Holiday continues to be a key figure in New Orleans.

Joe Ingles

Without causing offence to anyone, Ingles is hardly your typical NBA player given his athleticism, size, and speed.

However, few players can match up with Ingles when it comes to pure scoring. The man is a walking bucket when he catches fire.

He’s averaged over or around the 40% from three-point land in each of the last four seasons. Ingles has become a key player in Utah, allowing the explosive talents such as Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert to flourish.

Ricky Rubio

Much like the aforementioned Jrue Holiday, Spanish guard Ricky Rubio falls by the wayside due to other stars within the game taking headlines.

But Rubio’s presence and basketball IQ shouldn’t be underestimated. His move to the Suns has coincided with a sharp upturn in form, taking the pressure off Devin Booker in the process.

Gregg Popovich has openly praised Rubio before, which tells you all you need to know about his abilities. He’s very much in the mould of Phoenix favourite, Steve Nash, in that he is a pass-first guard.

In a team that has scorers such as Kelly Oubre, Booker, and DeAndre Ayton, Rubio is the perfect fit for this up and coming Suns team.

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Lee has been writing about all things football since 2015 and currently works as Editorial Lead for SheffieldUnited.News and freelance writer The Boot Room. He has worked for GRV Media since January 2020 and previously worked for Football League World at Snack Media. Lee is an expert on Sheffield United. He takes a keen interest in the tactical side of the game and raising talking points that go against the grain. He has a deep memory bank of 90s football stickers, knows the 1998 World Cup inside out and can't get enough of losing in the playoffs