Originally written on Pass The Pill  |  Last updated 11/17/14

Most NBA fans can chatter endlessly about their favorite superstars. The LeBron’s, the Kobe’s, the Dirk’s, the Durant’s, the Rose’s and the Wade’s.

Who can blame them? These players wow us night in and night out with their highlight reel plays. But, what about the role players? The guys who play gutsy defense and nail the clutch jumpers with little-to-no time left on the clock.

What about the underrated guys who are the glue to a championship run?

The 2012 NBA All-Underrated Team.

Guard- Andre Miller, Point Guard, Denver Nuggets

Miller is the scrappy “old dog” with more determination and wit in his little finger than most players today have in their entire body. The journeyman has averaged just a touch over 7 assists for his career and has always showcased a modest but efficient scoring game.

Miller has never wowed a scout with his jumper or blinded spectators with his speed. But, what he lacks in these traditional point guard abilities, he makes up for with his extremely high I.Q. and his unparalleled work ethic. The 13 year pro has never averaged less than 10 ppg or 5 apg for his entire career.

2012 Stats- 10.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 6.7 apg, 1.2 spg, 2.3 TOpg, 29.9 mpg, +15.19 EFF

Guard- Tony Allen, Shooting Guard, Memphis Grizzlies

Tony Allen is the poster boy for hustle and heart. There aren’t a lot of guys like him lurking around the NBA. He leaves it all out on the hardwood. Not only is Allen a reliable shooter and an athletic finisher, this guy is also a tremendous defender, both on the ball and when playing help.

Allen was instrumental in the success of the Memphis Grizzlies during last year’s Cinderella type playoff run. Supplying plenty of gritty defense and a cool confidence that was contagious throughout the team’s locker room.

2012 Stats- 10.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.8 spg, 1.5 TOpg, 25.3 mpg, +11.22 EFF

Forward- Ryan Anderson, Power Forward/Small Forward, Orlando Magic

Ryan Anderson isn’t your typical “power” forward. He is close to seven-feet tall, but this dude is a jacker. Anderson can stroke the trey with ease and it’s become his signature down in Orlando since taking over a starting forward slot with the Magic. At 16.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg and an efficiency rating of 17.4, Anderson has become a valuable asset to the Magic.

Another strength to Anderson’s game (that he gets ZERO credit for) is his rebounding presence. Not only is this kid physical (no joke) enough to grab rebounds in traffic. He’s also extremely disciplined in following his shot. For a player who spends as much time at the arc as Anderson does, he still manages to average 3.6 offensive boards per game. That is half of what his season average is for total rebounds (7.3). It’s worth noting that only Kevin Love (4.2) and Kris Humphries (3.8) average more offensive grabs per game among forwards.

Forward- Kris Humphries, Power Forward, New Jersey Nets

Not only was he the funniest and most entertaining thing to ever happen to the boring Kardashian show on E!, he’s also an extremely good ball player. I wasn’t sure how many people actually knew that little tidbit. Kris Humphries has really started to carve his path into the NBA. After sporting quite a few different jerseys, Hump has settled in as a member of the New Jersey Nets (who knows for how long) and has found his niche.

This guy is a tough inside presence. He could still use work on the offensive end, but at 13.5 ppg, 10.7 rpg, more than a block per and an efficiency over 19, I’d say Mr. Humphries has really proven his value as a legitimate starting power forward. He’s definitely become one of the league’s best rebounders in just a short period of time. That will always find you a home in this league.

Center- Serge Ibaka, Power Forward/ Center, Oklahoma City Thunder

Serge has proven to be a defensive catalyst for the streaking Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2012 NBA season. “Iblocka” has held down the paint in a big way and is exactly the type of complimentary player that Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook need to anchor a championship run.

I know, I know… He doesn’t play center (anymore). That is because the Thunder brought in Kendrick Perkins, but Ibaka is more-than-capable of taking the task that comes with the 5 spot. He currently leads the league with 3.2 blocks per game and has an efficiency of almost 15. Ibaka is one bad dude on the defensive end of the court.

 

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