Everyone believes someone on their favorite team is somehow underrated, but in this article, we will look at some of the guys, who have been extremely overlooked to start this season.
Derrick Favors: Derrick Favors started off his career as a highly touted prospect, but due to less than impressive numbers he was mostly forgotten by the average fan. Favors has seen his game rise drastically in the past three seasons, and has become a focal point on both ends of the court for the Utah Jazz. Playing in Utah, which as a whole is a underrated team, Favors does not get the press that most of his style of players should get. Averaging 15.8 points per game, 9.1 rebounds per game, 2.2 steals per game, and 1.7 blocks per game, while shooting 51.2% from the field, has lead to a PER of 25.49. Although these numbers are not as good as Andre Drummond, who has taken the league by storm, Favors can actually hit free throws at a decent clip for a big man. If Utah is to make the playoffs this season, it will be Favors, not Gobert from their dominating frontcourt, who will be leading Utah there.
Langston Galloway: The majority of NBA fans have no idea where Langston Galloway came from. Galloway went undrafted in the 2014 draft, and that is where New York found their hidden gem. His stats for the season are not mind boggling, but in 27.1 minutes per game, Galloway is averaging 11.1 points per game, 4.3 rebounds per game, 2.2 assists per game, while shooting 47.3% from the field, and 56.1% from three. Although his three point accuracy is likely to diminish throughout the season, Galloway has become a focal point off the bench for the New York Knicks, who through an oddly built roster, have found some success this season, and with the young players showing real potential, led by Galloway and Porzingis, New York has a bright future.
Kent Bazemore: When looking at the Atlanta Hawk’s roster there are plenty of names on there that could warrant being underrated by the fan community, but will stick to one of their players many fans have little knowledge about. Kent Bazemore has been all of the basketball world, but none more as important as Atlanta. Atlanta was looked to struggle without DeMarre Carroll’s presence on both ends of the court, but thanks to Bazemore’s scrappy style of play, Atlanta is still in the top half of the standings in the Eastern Conference. In 29.0 minutes per game, Bazemore has averaged, 12.0 points per game, 4.4 rebounds per game, 2.6 assists per game, 1.7 steals per game, while shooting 49.1% from the field, and 43.9% from three. Atlanta did not need a high scorer, but they did need a fourth option, and Bazemore has been exactly that for Atlanta. Bazemore has been battling nagging minor injuries to start the season, so once fully healthy we might see an even better version for the Hawks, which could make a run at LeBron and Co for the Eastern Conference if they can all stay healthy.
George Hill: I have been guilty of overlooking George Hill. We all know he is a good player, but we still think there is an upgrade for the Pacers out there. In ten games, Hill is averaging 14.0 points per game, 3.7 rebounds per game, 3.7 assists per game, 1.6 steals per game, while shooting 43.4% from the field, and 45.3% from three. Now these numbers are not going to blow you away, especially if you look at starting point guards in the Western Conference, but Hill is tough, stretches the floor, plays defense, and most important, a true leader on and off the court. When looking at the Indiana Pacer’s roster, you are not left to think they would not be a very competitive team, but thanks to guys like George Hill, who give max effort every game, Indiana can remain a successful team, even without the star power teams think they need.
Will Barton: The only reason I knew anything about Will Barton was from association on the 2k franchise when I needed a cheap three point shooter, other than that, I had not heard much about him. I had started the watch Barton last season more and more, as he looked to be a great fit in Denver’s offense, but after being traded to Portland, Barton’s role diminished, and he was an afterthought to many of us. Coming off the bench for the Denver Nuggets this season, Barton is averaging, 27.2 minutes per game, 14.5 points per game, 5.1 rebounds per game, 1.6 assists per game, 1.3 steals per game, while shooting 48.7% from the field, and 45.7% from three. If these numbers continue, Barton should be a top candidate for sixth man of the year, as his offensive presence as been able to supply the Nuggets with the offense most of us thought they would be lacking this season, and creating a team full of upset potential.
By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17