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Chiwas
11-05-2004, 10:26 AM
NBA's most underrated players

Charley Rosen / Special to FOXSports.com

Some players are designated scorers and they're the ones who get the numbers, the attention, and the huge contracts.

But there are many other deeds that have to be done before a scorer gets the chance to score: Somebody has to play defense, rebound, fill lanes on the run, pick, make an entry and/or reversal pass, cut to clear space, etc. The players whose skills do not directly involve putting the ball through the ring are not only easy to ignore, but also to disparage. Still, as long as 10 players have to play with only one basketball, off-the-ball genius will always be crucial to a team's success.

So, then, let's take a look at some of the players whose vital contributions are made out of the spotlight. And some who get only leftover shots.


1. Jason Kidd, Nets
Say, what? J-Kidd underrated?

Everybody appreciates his accurate and unselfish passwork, his ability to unilaterally create fastbreak situations, his clutch shooting, and his all-around toughness.

But Kidd does some of his best, and most important, work when hardly anybody is paying attention.

Inch-for-inch, Kidd happens to be the Nets' best rebounder, best post-up player, and best defender. His competitive fires burn so fiercely that even on one leg, he was the one New Jersey player responsible for extending the championship Pistons to a seven-game playoff series last year.


If he ever gets healthy again, forget about following the bouncing ball and track Kidd's every move. That's the only way to fully appreciate all that he does.


2. Maurice Taylor, Rockets
This guy is a scorer deluxe. He's best on the left block where he'll turn his left shoulder for a deadly jump hook, and turn right for either a bull's-eye jumper or a power-house drop step. He's also an excellent perimeter shooter off screen-roll action, and his jumper is virtually indefensible because of his long-armed release. Taylor can also square up and go right or left, spin either way, and cross over left to right.

If his defense was slightly quicker, and he didn't play with a squad full of superstars, Maurice Taylor would be a definite All-Star and a legitimate contender for the NBA scoring title.


3. James Posey, Grizzlies
Because he's able to do so much, Posey is often overlooked. He may be skinny, but he has the same kind of athleticism and tensile strength that MJ had. Posey can run with the guards, and cut and slash with any of the Three Musketeers. He's a streaky shooter (and getting steadier every year) with a lightning release and excellent 3-point range. He's most accurate curling off of pin-down action. Like most right-handers, Posey will drive all the way going right and pull-up left. He can even post up shooting a turnaround jumper over his right shoulder, or else going to an excellent up-and-under move.

Posey also works hard at the other end. He's about this far away from being a stopper on defense. He's a jack-of-all-trades and well on his way to also becoming a master of them all.


4. Gordan Giricek, Jazz
He's not a high flyer but Giricek does everything else: Knock down jumpers (including 3-balls) from a standstill, off the dribble, or coming off picks. He can get to the hole either way (usually after a very convincing jab step), finish with imagination, and also make the appropriate dish. He moves well without the ball and likes to curl around baseline picks. He can even venture into the pivot for a quick turnaround jumper. Giricek can push the ball and play effectively at full-speed, or be a solid citizen in a slow-down game.

What else can he do? How about rebounding and playing top-notch defense.

If he had hops, Giricek would be too good to be true.


5. Andre Miller, Nuggets
Hey, didn't this guy lead the NBA assists just three seasons back? What happened to him since then?

First off, his talents were wasted with the Clippers' wild and furious burn-on-burn game plan. Then his talents were wasted when Carmelo Anthony did his own thing with Denver.

Through it all, Miller retains his remarkable unselfishness, his incredible court vision, his unparalleled drive-and-kick game, his quick first step, and his wonderful spin moves. Can he regularly hit the three? No. How's his defense? A slight cut above average.

Let Miller run a well-structured system and surround him with disciplined players and he'd be the NBA's second-best point guard.


6. Derek Anderson, Blazers
Another unsung player whose rainbow talents cover the entire court. Anderson has one of the quickest first steps in the league, but his second and third steps are not quite so explosive which is why he'd rather pull up (right or left) than drive into a crowd. (Yet he'd just as soon pass as shoot.) He is a creative pusher and finisher, however, on the run. He can post smaller guards and is a sneaky rebounder.

OK, there are plenty of NBA'ers who have the same kind of explosive offense. The big difference with Anderson is his quick and active defense.

What's his biggest problem? Staying healthy.


7. Jeff Foster, Pacers
A quietly effective defender, Foster is also one of the league's best rebounders in traffic. Shooters need to shoot to maintain their hand mechanics and to smooth their strokes. Because Foster gets to shoot maybe two jumpers per game, he's a bricklayer. But he does have a decent touch, and with more shots he'd prove to be a dependable shooter.

Notice what happened last season in the Pacers' playoffs series vs. Detroit, when Rick Carlisle benched Foster in favor of Austin Croshere (in an attempt to pump up his offense). Proving that some role players have a unique and irreplaceable value.


Honorable mention
Alvin Williams, Aaron Williams, Eric Williams, Jerome Williams, Matt Harpring, Morris Peterson, Mark Blount, Walter McCarty, Eduardo Najera, Adrian Griffin, Anthony Johnson, Shane Battier, Earl Watson, Rafer Alston, Desmond Mason, Lucious Harris, George Lynch, Greg Buckner, and Darius Songaila.

Without players like these, the NBA might as well play 3-on-3, or play with two basketballs or both.

endtroducing
11-05-2004, 11:32 AM
Maurice Taylor....hahahahahahaha.

endtroducing
11-05-2004, 11:32 AM
Maurice Taylor....hahahahahahaha.

crazy_fool_42
11-07-2004, 02:45 PM
Kidd under-rated?? i think he is over rated

sike
11-07-2004, 06:31 PM
Originally posted by: crazy_fool_42
Kidd under-rated?? i think he is over rated
though its rare....I may have found a poster who lives up to the user name.

bernardos70
11-07-2004, 07:35 PM
I don't think Kid is underrated, but he's definitely not overrated. He can't be overrated being the best in the biz at what he does.

Nash13
11-07-2004, 08:43 PM
Chauncey Billups?

FilthyFinMavs
11-07-2004, 11:48 PM
Let Miller run a well-structured system and surround him with disciplined players and he'd be the NBA's second-best point guard.


BS.

Is this guy from Toronto? All those players he has listed have either played for Toronto or currently play for them.

JLEEHASMUCHGAME
11-08-2004, 03:02 AM
Originally posted by: sike

Originally posted by: crazy_fool_42
Kidd under-rated?? i think he is over rated
though its rare....I may have found a poster who lives up to the user name.


I must be one of those other rare cases!
i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif


I apologize for getting off topic!

Poindexter Einstein
11-08-2004, 07:23 AM
Rosen's list is insane. How much crack did he smoke before picking up the keyboard and typing this nonsense? Good grief.

4cwebb
11-08-2004, 09:23 AM
I'll be one of the first guys, as a University of Michigan homer, to say that Taylor has the talent to be a much better NBA player than he currently is. He has a great variety of post moves at Rosen points out, but he's never put one entire season together other than a contract year with the Clippers, if I recall. Putting him at #2 is borderline ridiculous. It's almost as if he described Rasheed Wallace's game (a guy who I'd be willing to argue has as much talent as any PF in the league, including Duncan), then slapped Mo Taylor's name at the beginning.

Kidd is more than questionable listed at #1. Best post game on the Nets? That's like (to quote a Stanford newspaper article from last year) like claiming to be the prettiest girl at CalTech. Who cares? The Nets haven't had a post-player in years, so Kidd's mediocre (at best) postgame hardly rates mentioning.

sike
11-08-2004, 12:49 PM
as stupid as I think he is....I hope he's right on Miller...the Sikedelics need him to get it on.

5. Andre Miller, Nuggets
Hey, didn't this guy lead the NBA assists just three seasons back? What happened to him since then?

First off, his talents were wasted with the Clippers' wild and furious burn-on-burn game plan. Then his talents were wasted when Carmelo Anthony did his own thing with Denver.

Through it all, Miller retains his remarkable unselfishness, his incredible court vision, his unparalleled drive-and-kick game, his quick first step, and his wonderful spin moves. Can he regularly hit the three? No. How's his defense? A slight cut above average.

Let Miller run a well-structured system and surround him with disciplined players and he'd be the NBA's second-best point guard.

EricaLubarsky
11-08-2004, 05:38 PM
Sike, the ultimate optimist.

sike
11-09-2004, 12:23 PM
Originally posted by: EricaLubarsky
Sike, the ultimate optimist.
a realistic optimist....

EricaLubarsky
11-09-2004, 12:25 PM
other than shooting 33% from the field, Miller had a prety fine night.

sike
11-09-2004, 12:32 PM
the 4 TO's and only 5 dimes not so hot....but he being asked to take on a new role so I'll give him some time to warm up..

EricaLubarsky
11-09-2004, 03:12 PM
Originally posted by: sike
the 4 TO's and only 5 dimes not so hot....but he being asked to take on a new role so I'll give him some time to warm up..

I hope his new role isnt rebounder.

ddh33
11-09-2004, 03:54 PM
I think it's been about a month since I said how rediculous Rosen is. That' because I haven't read him at all during that time. So, anyway, Rosen is still rediculous.

Mandyahl
11-09-2004, 04:07 PM
hey 4cwebb...turn your pms on please!

4cwebb
11-10-2004, 12:48 AM
Originally posted by: Mandyahl
hey 4cwebb...turn your pms on please!

Done.

Shaq Attack2
11-10-2004, 07:35 AM
Rosen hasn't watched modern NBA basketball since 1997. Cut him a break.