(Credit: Oregon Live)
As the season comes to a close and the playoffs get ready to begin, regular season awards will be announced in the upcoming weeks. While some undeserving players will certainly win some awards, there are players who deserve notoriety that may not be considered MVP candidates or First Team All-NBA selections. There are certainly more underrated players than the one’s listed below, but a lot of those players I view as rising stars. For this article, I focused on players who are viewed by most to be good players but who I believe should be viewed as superstars.
Guard: Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard is one of the top point guards in the NBA, and he is leading one of the best teams in the West. He isn’t commonly brought up in the discussion of top five point guards in the NBA, but he should be.
Guard: DeMar DeRozan
DeRozan is averaging 22.8 ppg and is becoming one of the best shooting guards in the game. He is an all-around player who can score, pass, rebound and play defense. The Raptors are currently the third seed in the East due in large part to DeRozan.
Forward: Kawhi Leanord
Leanord is a superstar. While Parker, Ginobli and Duncan are considered to be the anchors of the Spurs, Leanord may now be their best all-around player. He is their best defender and most athletic player. When it seemed as though the Spurs’ dynasty was coming to a close, the team made a trade for Leanord that rejuvenated the franchise. Leanord was a key part to their run to the NBA Finals last season.
Forward: Anthony Davis
Davis is already a top five player in the league. While he is stuck on a rebuilding team, he is still having an unbelievable year. He is fourth in the league in PER, first in blocked shots and is averaging a double-double.
Center: DeMarcus Cousins
The center position was easily the hardest to choose. There are several talented centers who don’t receive enough credit, but none are better than Cousins. He is unstoppable. If you haven’t read Tim Keown’s article about him in the latest issue of ESPN the Mag, I would highly suggest taking the time to read it. Cousins gets a bad reputation for his antics, but he is one of the best players in the league when he’s on the court. He has improved each season and is having a career year.
Goran Dragic, Andre Drummond, Isaiah Thomas, John Wall, Al Horford, DeAndre Jordan
By Sports-Kings’ Pass the Pill NBA Contributor Mark Pace @THEMarkPace
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