Overrated vs Underrated

27 08 2008

In the period between the last game of the NBA finals, and the first games of the next season, every NBA writer – be he professional or not – searches for different subjects on the game.  No different here, I guess… although the Olympics certainly provided fodder for some.  One almost overdone topic that gets done pretty much every year is “who’s overrated?”.  It’s done on mainstream media, in blogs, on chatboards and forums.

Recently I’ve read quite a few accounts of *who is*, and *who isn’t*.  Before I delve into it myself, it’s important to set definitions first.
Someone who gets a helluva lot of attention, but is worthy of it, isn’t overrated. Likewise, if a isn’t getting attention – and doesn’t deserve it – isn’t underrated. Overrated is a player who gets hype, but is not worthy of the level of hype they get. They may be a damn good player, but still fall into the ‘overrated’ class.

So… on to it. 5 players, who should be watched next season, for fitting into this conversation topic.

In no particular order…

  1. Paul Pierce: Overrated. Yes, he had an amazing finals.  Yup, he was nigh-on unguardable.  Uh-huh, Finals MVP (deservedly… even tho’ my personal pick was Ray Allen).  But does he believe his own hype?  I mean, it’s one thing to be confident… another entirely to name yourself the best player in the world.  This, from a guy who’s yet to make an NBA second team, let alone an All-NBA first squad.
    I don’t think he’s as good next season as he was in the finals.  Don’t get me wrong – damn good player.
    Just not as good as some (including Pierce himself) would have you believe.
  2. Greg Oden: Overrated. Don’t misunderstand me, I think he’ll end up being a very, very good player.  Maybe a center for the ages… but as it stands at the moment, he’s overrated.
    The hype surrounding a player who’s never even taken a step within an NBA game is unbelievable.  You’d think it’s the second coming of Wilt.
    It may end up being the second coming of Wilt… but at this point in time, we just don’t know – let him play a few years first.  Given that, way too much pump for a first-year guy.
  3. Chris Paul: Underrated. I know a lot of people will just be going “wow” by now.  Calling Greg Oden overrated and Chris Paul underrated?  Especially given the season he had, and the attention he recieved for that season…
    Well, I’m going with it anyway.
    Paul had an amazing season, one of the best ever for a point guard, yet some people shied away from comparisons with some of the game’s more legendary point men.
    Why?
    Because of his relative youth.  He hasn’t had the longevity that his predecessors have had, but in one season he blew way past two of the best point guards in recent history in Steve Nash and Jason Kidd, and in one of the toughest seasons in living memory, amassed an amazing stat-line leading his team to right up near the very top of the league.  21.1 ppg, 11.6 apg.
    Amazing.
    Not sure why we cannot enjoy and appreciate that season for what it was: one of the best played by a point guard in the history of the game.
  4. Tracy McGrady: Underrated. Yes, I know… a guy who cannot get his team into the second round of the playoffs, how can he be underrated?  Well, for years T-Mac has suffered through that.  Has been the recipient of many derogatory nicknames like ‘Kobe-lite’ (my personal fave).
    And rightly so: after a heap of hype in his first half dozen years, of inevitable comparisons to Kobe (where he’s been found wanting at every turn), Tracy McGrady has settled into a cycle of ‘almost’.  And us, the fan? We have learnt to sit back on T-Mac, always expecting him to fail at the highest levels.  And largely, he’s done… or rather, his teams have performed – as expected.
    What we’re ignoring is what he did with his team last year, largely without Yao Ming.  We’ve become so complacent on McGrady that he’s actually come full circle, and is now… underrated.
  5. David West: Overrated. The take on David West for pretty much all of last season was that he’s a terrific player, and oh-so-underrated.
    It got so that you couldn’t talk about the Hornets without someone saying – “David West.  Underrated.”
    Every time.
    Every single bloody time.
    People talked about how much he’d improved, what a fantastic player he’s become.  Well… sorry to pop the bubble, but whilst he did improve, it was only a marginal improvement.
    In his 5th year, he improved 2 points, half a rebound, and half a block per game… playing a bit over a minute more per.  Thing is, he was a good player before last season.  Most of the Hornets were. They just did more with what they had last season.
    West just came into the spotlight more with a) some big performances, and b) with New Orleans actually taking the center stage last season.  Over-hyped on being underrated = overrated.

Feel free to rip me.  Disagree.  Welcome the discussion…

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3 responses

28 08 2008
brumbygg9

Paul Pierce???? Them’s fightin’ words mister…..

Who is next??? KG???

28 08 2008
brumbygg9

tho’ I suspect there may be just a smidgin’ of truth to it…..

2 09 2008
Genera|

Hey there

1. Pierce.. he’s great.. overrated? Hmmm well lately he gets the hype of players like Kobe and LeBron so yes he is overrated (kinda). Let’s not forget that without KG and Allen his team was the worst in the league.

2. Oden.. let’s wait and see. If he ever becomes better than Howard, that’d be great huge.

3. Paul gets the credit he deserves. He’s not underrated.

4. T-Mac is a 7-time all star and a 7-time all-nba selection. Who underrated him? He’s past his prime but he’s one of the best players of his generation.

5. West.. find me more players with 21-9-2 with no all-star games, no credit etc. Great player. He’s not flashy, he’s even boring to watch but great.

Nice blog mate, keep up the good work.

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