All-NBA Underrated 1st Team

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Fadeaway World

Fadeaway World

This team could do some severe danger at the NBA level no question. One guard is heavily criticized for consistency, but undervalued for his impact through doing the little things.

Another guard is only given credit when being attached to an absolute NBA superstar. One player just made the deepest team in the NBA deeper. A forward still linked to being just a dunker even though his game has dramatically expanded. It’s like saying Stephen Curry is just a shooter. Ignorant comments carry no weight. The last big man is often criticized for his shortcomings defensively but hardly praised for the passion he plays with every night.

Point Guard: Kyle Lowry

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

This article might be the most praise Lowry ever receives. Kyle is not known for dominant playoff performances, but he is one of the few to still have an imprint on the game without looking for himself. Lowry is a gifted playmaker, gritty defensive player, tenacious rebounder, and when his shot is on, he can take over a game with ease. We saw this on display in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

I challenge you to observe Lowry’s game minus the highlight plays. This guy dives for loose balls, draws fouls effectively, and typically is among the league leaders in charges every season and postseason. At the end of the day, Lowry contributed in a big way through doing the little things to get a ring and a standing ovation from Jurassic Park and Air Canada Centre. Look beyond the box score or in the +/- to see his impact.

Shooting Guard: CJ McCollum

Credit: USA Today

Credit: USA Today

The fact that this guard continues to miss the All-Star game every season and no one complains on his behalf is crazy. McCollum is a student of the game and never seems to get credit away from being attached to Damian Lillard. CJ may have the most deadly mid-range in the NBA. They call him CJ McKillem in Portland. McCollum was the best player in the Blazers playoff run last year because of his improvement defensively.

CJ is so underrated no even considers him typically in the conversation for a top shooting guard. I hope he has gained entrance after an impeccable playoff run. The combo guard, along with Dame, makes up one of the deadliest backcourts in the NBA. The effortless efficiency CJ plays with coupled with his basketball IQ makes him a bonafide star in this league. I hope Jennifer is pleased with his performance now.

Small Forward: Jerami Grant

Jerami Grant

Jerami Grant comes from an elite basketball family, son of Harvey Grant, nephew of Horace Grant and brother of Jerian Grant. Grant has improved every year and became more of a two-way weapon than just a defensive specialist. The wing is using his defensive versatility to guard up to 4 positions and now drills the three at 39% as of last season. No one talks about the solidness in a young player who moves well without the ball on cuts and blocks shots with ease.

Jerami has a great chance to thrive with the Denver Nuggets next season. Grant could vie for a starting spot too because he’s only going to continue to grow as the stat sheet stuffer at heart. The Nuggets finally found their wing for the future. The league should be on the watch.

Power Forward: Blake Griffin

(via USA Today)

(via USA Today)

Blake Griffin is overlooked often in the NBA. Ignored in the sense that people are not acknowledging the improvements he’s making. A comedian off the court, but his game is no laughing matter. Once, a highlight reel full of posters, the big man has expanded his game into the all-around Superstar we see now. There is a reason the Pistons gave him a standing ovation despite getting swept by the Bucks.

The heart Griffin plays with shows his maturity. Griffin is slowly developing an impressive range on his shot. The big man’s IQ is insanely high. The point forward uniquely sees the floor — one of the better ball handlers and finishers we have in the league. The Pistons are in good hands with Blake as their franchise star. They need to continue to build around him. Only injuries can stunt his growth.

Center: Enes Kanter

Credit: USA Today

Credit: USA Today

People criticize Kanter’s game for defensive shortcomings, but he has the capability of playing defense at a high level. Enes showed it in spades in the playoffs. Kanter plays with a passion for every team he’s ever played alongside. A dog on the glass which gives a team extra possessions. Kanter is one of the few players capable of 20-20 games at the NBA level.

Enes Kanter is a Reliable screen setter, amazing post-game, and effective in the pick and roll on most occasions. The Turkish big man is willing to do the dirty work and is working on expanding his shot, adding the long ball to diversify his offensive repertoire. The defense will come because Kanter regularly watches the tape and knows what he needs to improve on. Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.


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