The NBA playoffs feature the best players in the world, as all teams need a superstar if they want to have a shot at the Larry O’Brien Trophy, and just a handful of them are able to lead their franchises to success.
Nonetheless, it’s the role players the ones that help those superstars carry the load, as they make the most of the double and triple-teams and all the attention that goes with those stars to make their contributions.
However, more often than not, those players don’t get the praise and recognition they should from the fans or the media and today, we’ll let you know about the 5 most underrated players of this year’s playoffs.
5. Kevon Looney
Nobody ever talks about Kevon Looney because his game isn’t as flashy as most of the other Warriors. Still, he’s been a major part of the team’s success as he’s allowed them to give Draymond Green a breather from time to time.
Looney’s impact won’t reflect on simple stats, but he’s been one of the best defenders in the playoffs so far, and he’s going to get paid big time in the summer. So far, he’s averaging 6.0 points, and 3.9 rebounds, with an offensive rating of 141 and a defensive rating of 113.
4. PJ Tucker
PJ Tucker has been a major stud all year long for the Houston Rockets. Yes, he’s not the best of scorers and is not much of a consistent shooter, but he’s the team’s best wing stopper, especially without Trevor Ariza.
Tucker can guard one through five. He’s a hustler and is great at creating second chances for his team. Right now, he’s averaging 10.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.8 blocks, and 2.1 three-pointers per game.
3. Enes Kanter
Enes Kanter has never gotten any praise at all, mostly because he’s always been a huge liability in the defensive end of the floor. Still, he’s one of the best scorers in the post right now and is a terrific rebounder as well.
Kanter is grinding through a lot of pain in his shoulder and has been quite solid for the Blazers stepping up for injured Jusuf Nurkic. So far, he’s averaging 14.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game.
2. Eric Bledsoe
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton are getting most of the praise for the Milwaukee Bucks’ great performances in the playoffs, so people tend to overlook Eric Bledsoe’s great performances for them.
Bledsoe has become a much more mature player. His shot selection is better and has been great at taking care of the ball. So far, he’s averaged 16.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.4 three-pointers per game on just 27.1 minutes per game.
1. Jamal Murray
Naturally, most of the attention the Nuggets get heads towards Nikola Jokic, as the big man is the best player on the team and one of the best playmakers in the world, still, we should talk a lot more about Jamal Murray.
Murray entered the league as a sharpshooter but his game has really evolved this season. He’s more aggressive as a finisher and driver, a better playmaker, and has made great strides in the defensive end. He’s averaging 21.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.2 steals, and 2.2 three-pointers per game on 44/35/88.