As NBA fans, we love greatness. Whether you’re a casual fan or the most diehard fan out there, you know the names of current and former greats, such as Bird, Magic, Mike, LeBron, Curry and Durant, and many many more. But a lot of players are overlooked and under appreciated by fans, and thus aren’t talked about. But today, that changes, as I’m writing about the 5 most underrated players in the NBA. I’m going to state right now that players who are commonly stated as overrated, such as Mike Conley, Damian Lillard, and Eric Bledsoe will not be making the list, as I want to list the really slept on players.
#5- James Johnson
James Johnson is one of the most complete players in the league. He shoots above league average from 3, he’s a good defensive player, he averages almost 5 assists and over 5 rebounds per game, the only real flaw to his game is his mid range jump shot, he’s only shooting 25% on mid ranges, while the league average is just under 40%. He is, however, amazing at the rim, he finishes around 73% of his shots at the bucket, which is over 10% higher than the current league average. James Johnson is an amazing role player for the Miami heat at the forward spots and doesn’t get enough recognition.
#4- Victor Oladipo
Victor Oladipo is putting up some all star type numbers this year, and it has gone overlooked by many NBA fans. Averaging 23 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists per game while averaging nearly 2 steals per game, Oladipo has been the leading force behind Indiana’s great season, where they’re currently slotted as the 6th seed in the east. Going into the season, many fans thought that without Paul George, it would be Myles Turner who would break out and lead the team, but nope, 2017-2018 is the year of Oladipo. He’s also been insanely efficient, shooting over 50% on corner 3 pointers, 46% on all 3 pointers, while still being great at the rim and from mid range. We also shouldn’t forget his defense, which has always been a staple of his game.
#3- Clint Capela
Clint Capela is one of the NBA’s brightest young centers. At only 24 years old, Capela is putting up averages of 13 points and 11 rebounds, with nearly 2 blocks per game. If you want to talk about efficiency, Capela is also your guy, as he’s currently leading the league in field goal percentage with a mind boggling 67% from the field. Despite not having an outside jumper, Capela helps the Rockets in a variety of ways. Whether it be his 3 offensive rebounds per game, his hustle plays, his great athleticism and size, his ability to catch any lob, his high IQ defensively or his rim protection, Capela will always find a way to contribute in a game.
#2- Harrison Barnes
When many NBA fans think of Harrison Barnes, they think of his unclutch performances in the NBA finals while on the Warriors, or his horrible performance in the 2016 Olympics, but the past year and a half Harrison Barnes has been straight balling. This season he’s currently averaging 18.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. While he hasn’t been the most efficient this year, only hitting about 33% of his 3 pointers, but he’s been good at the rim, from mid range, and he’s been good on shots from inside the paint outside of 3 feet. He greatly improved his ball handling last year and is a versatile scorer with his fadeaways, turnaround jumpers, pull-ups and layups and should definitely be getting noticed.
#1- Tobias Harris
Tobias Harris is a lethal scoring out of the 4 spot. He’s played small forward most of the career but he thrives at power forward. This season he’s currently averaging 19.1 points per game on insane efficiency, but NOBODY is talking about him. He’s currently has a higher 3 point % than 2 point %. Hitting his 3 pointers 47% of the time on over 6 attempts per game, Tobias has showed himself to be one of the best shooters in the game. He’s shooting 50% exactly on 3 pointers at the top of the key and at the elbow, and 55.6% from the right corner, it’s only his 3’s from the left corner that aren’t going in, as he only shoots 23% on left corner 3’s. Not only is he a good 3 point shooter though, Tobias has one of the best fadeaways in the league, and is a phenomenal mid range shooter. He’s very hard to guard as a quick, 6’9 PF who can either hit a jumper in your face or take you to the rack and finish efficiently. The NBA community needs to take notice of Tobias Harris, at only 25 years old he has potential to be one of the best scorers in the league in only a few years.
Thank you for reading! If you would like to talk hoops with the writer, drop me a follow on twitter (@RisKOutlawS). Also be sure to follow @TheHoopCentral on twitter for NBA news, highlights, and many more great articles! All stats and percentages are courtesy of https://www.basketball-reference.com as well as http://nbasavant.com/index.php. Cover image from Getty Images