With the NBA season completed, I figured I’d give my take on a few of its players. The first list will be the Top 5 Overrated Players. I know that this list will bring forth discussions from the fans of these players, but everyone is entitled to their opinion right? Here we go.
#5 European Players: Before I dive into this, there are exceptions. Tony Parker and Dirk Nowitski (to an extent) is where I draw the line. To me, Euro players are about flash. Yes they all have the fundamentals to be great in the NBA, but they would rather bring the “And 1 Mixtape” to the league. I hate it. When I think of Euro players, I think of two high school players in a large city. One player is from the inner city. He gets all of the respect because he plays against tough competition. The other player is from suburbia. They tend to get recognition, but their game isn’t really respected due to the lack of competition. To me, Euro players are more about making Sports Center’s Top 10 than winning. I’m just not a fan. Tony Parker is on another level. He has the ability to play with flash, but he’s a fundamental Point Guard. I like his game (this is coming from a “bandwagon” Heat fan, but that’s a different blog). Dirk Nowitski is another exception to the rule. He’s a champion. Point blank. Strengths: He can take a big man out to the perimeter and score. He can also take a small opponent down to the block and score. Weaknesses: No defense. He’s soft.
#4 Paul Pierce: I know I’ll get a lot of backlash for this, but this is my opinion. Pierce is a conundrum. In no way does he display the athletic build or ability to be the typical NBA player. His game is slow. His jump shot is slow and unorthodox. It seems as if every shot is a prayer. If he was playing in a recreation league, and my teammate was guarding him, I’d be down my teammate’s collar. I don’t understand how he scores so easily on NBA players. He has the heart of a champion, and the hardware to back it up. But he’s still overrated to me.
#3 Monte Ellis: Here’s where I think I’ll get a lot of backup. Monte Ellis is good. Don’t get me wrong. But I don’t think he’s as good as his contract shows. He’s a “shoot first” player, and this past year, he was on a team with a “shoot first” Point Guard. When LeBron made “The Decision” a few years back, I’m pretty sure he took into account that Monte Ellis was Cleveland’s best chance to land a big name (after Joe Johnson re-signed) free agent to help him win. How would that have worked? So as I’ve said before, he’s good. But is he really THAT good?
#2 Pau Gasol: SOFT!! That’s how I describe Pau. If you refer to number 5, you’d see that I think the same thing for most of his European counterparts. When I compare him to his brother, it’s a no brainer for me. Marc is a better leader, and a better player. Pau has the size and skill to be dominant, but he just isn’t. True he’s won a couple of championships, but if you debate with a Laker fan that Kobe has always had a stellar team when he won his rings, most wouldn’t even mention Pau as a helping hand in Kobe’s last two runs. Pau has good qualities, but to me his bad qualities overshadow them. He’d be #1 if it weren’t for….
#1 Dwight Howard: Oh boy! Where do I begin? When he came out of high school, I thought he’d be a dominant force. He could jump out of the gym, and put an offensive player’s shot into the 40th row of an arena. Oh yeah, he could also dunk. Have we seen this before? Wait, we have? Where? Shaquille O’Neal. Dwight went the same path too (except we don’t want Howard in Miami). Dwight’s back to the basket game is minimal at most. If he’s not catching lobs, can you really rely on Dwight Howard to carry a team to a ring? Hell, he was put in the perfect situation this past year, how much did we see his game improve? To lack so much talent on the offensive end, I don’t understand why Dwight Howard gets so much airtime. I’d easily take Tyson Chandler over Howard. Why? Chandler knows he won’t get you 30 points. He knows that he is on the court to defend the rim and grab rebounds. I don’t have to play chess with the other coach when it comes to crunch time. I know that I can leave him on the court, and he’ll make his free throws. With the lack of true centers in the NBA, I think Howard is put under a microscope. Honestly, I don’t think his game deserves the money or the fame he receives. But as I’ve said before, it’s my opinion. I look forward to what my readers think.
Honorable Mention: Amare Stoudamire, Tyreke Evans, Chris Bosh, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook