How many good players go unrecognized every day?
Well, this year, there were many snubs in the All-Star game, which could have gone to deserving players. Unfortunately, there are only so many spots in the game, and these certain players didn’t make the cut.
These guys are having spectacular seasons. Yes, they may not be the top in the league at their position, but for goodness sake, they need to be given some recognition. This is an article that does just that.
1. Point Guard: Ty Lawson:
Last night, the Nuggets were lucky to keep their streak, which is now at 12, alive against the Bulls in OT. That win was a just a small little contributing factor for Ty Lawson to step under the spotlight.
The Nuggets keep claiming they have no superstar: this isn’t true at all. Ty Lawson is one of the up and coming PG’s in the league, and deserves to be an all-star for all his work with the Nuggets. He’ll likely get a spot next year.
Against the Bulls last night, Lawson had just 13 points, but each of those points mattered. Wilson Chandler who scored 35 deserves a lot of the credit for the win, but Lawson, overall, as been leading the Nuggets to one of their best seasons in the George Karl Era.
2012-2013 Stats: 16.8 PPG, 7.0 Assists
2. Shooting Guard: Monta Ellis:
One could say that shooting guard Monta Ellis has been struggling ever since his trade to the Bucks. That trade, however, was good for both teams. The Bucks have figuratively secured a playoff spot at the eighth position.
This is further than they’ve ever gotten in the past couple of years. They have a good shot against the Heat, and it’s because of this man. He’s not averaging much on the season, but towards the end of February and all of March, Ellis has been averaging over 25 per game.
Ellis is still the star that he was when he with the Warriors, but now, he’s being more conservative, taking better shots, and collecting more assists. No doubt, he deserves a spot on this underrated list.
2012-2013 Stats: 19.6 PPG, 5.9 assists. March Stats: 26.4 PPG
3. Small Forward: Nicolas Batum:
Batum is a great scorer, passer, and he’s the guy that the Blazers can go to, despite having Damian Lillard, future rookie of the year. Lillard has been incredible and is the talk of Portland. Batum, however, is a top 10 SF in the league and has been playing exceptionally this season. The Blazers aren’t getting some good win’s but that’s going to happen in the future, once their youth develop.
2012-2013 Stats: 14.9 PPG, 5.9 Rebounds, 4.8 Assists
4. Power Forward: Josh Smith:
In the past couple of seasons, Josh Smith has been in the talks for the all-star game, but has never gotten there. This season, he is
leading his team without Joe Johnson. Smith is a great shot-blocker, shooter, and can score in a hurry by dominating the paint.
Looking at it, Josh Smith has carried his team on his back, and he is averaging career numbers. His rebounding is up, and his shot blocking skills amaze me. He’s very entertaining to watch, and has been playing exceptionally. No doubt, he’s a great scorer and deserves some recognition.
2012-2013 Stats: 17.3 PPG, 8.5 Rebounds, 4.5 Assists, 1.9 Blocks
5. Center: Marc Gasol:
Last year when Gasol was an all-star, he began getting some recognition. Now, however, he is overshadowed by big names such as Dwight Howard, and Tim Duncan. There are only a few quality centers in the NBA, and Gasol is no doubt, one of them. Memphis is good because they have Gasol working down low, able to score on anybody he wants after getting a deep position.
If the Grizzlies go far in the post-season, it’ll be because Gasol has put up some great numbers.
2012-2013 Stats: 14.3 PPG, 7.7 Rebounds
6th man: Stephen Curry:
Yes, it’s very unlikely that your 6th man averages the most points per contest, but Stephen Curry doesn’t have the Warriors on fire like the rest of these guys do. The Warriors may be in the sixthseed, but Lawson has his Nuggets on a 12 game winning streak, about to pass the Grizzlies for home court advantage in the playoffs. Curry is leading the Warriors to a great season, but has faltered lately. His defense isn’t great, but he makes up for it by stroking almost every shot.
Steve Kerrm with the Bulls in Jordan’s Era, has the highest career percentage for three pointers, but in the words of Bob Fitzgerald, “When it’s all said and done, Curry may beat that record.” He is a pure shooter with one of the most beautiful strokes I’ve seen. Oh yeah, and the Warriors are nine games above .500.
2012-2013 Stats: 22.1 PPG, 6.7 Assists, 1.6 Steals