With the season in full swing, it’s time to give the NBA’s best players their due.
Here are the 10 most underrated players this season.1.
James Harden, RocketsJames Harden has averaged 18.7 points, 4.5 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game this season for the Houston Rockets.
That’s a solid average for a player who is still only 27.
That said, Harden’s shooting percentages are down, as his field goal percentage has dropped from 47.7 percent to 47.0 percent.
It’s not the biggest drop, but it’s an indication of how his shot has taken a major hit.
He’s shooting 41.1 percent from the field and 40.3 percent from three, down from 44.9 and 41.8 percent, respectively, per Basketball Reference.
He also shot 47.1 and 47.3 on free throws, respectively.
That is a big drop off, but the numbers are still solid, especially in the playoffs.
Harden has shot 40.1 percentage on those attempts in his last six games, including the Rockets playoff series win against the Cleveland Cavaliers.2.
Carmelo Anthony, KnicksThe New York Knicks’ Carmelo Jackson is averaging 18.2 points, 8.3 assists, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.2 steals per game.
The Knicks are one of three teams that have posted double-digit wins this season, along with the Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Jackson’s numbers have been trending downward since his rookie year, and he has struggled to score points and make plays.
He has averaged 17.1 points and 8.7 assists over his last four games, with his turnovers rate at 11.3 per game, which ranks third worst in the league.
That could be an indication that his shooting percentage will decline, as he’s shooting 39.5 percent on those shots in his past four games.3.
Andrew Wiggins, TimberwolvesAndrew Wiggins has averaged 16.7 and 13.9 points per game for the Minnesota Timberwolves this season in the first two weeks.
He is averaging 12.6 points, 6.3 points, and 6.4 assists per game in the two games that have gone his way.
That may not sound like a lot, but in terms of scoring, Wiggins is third in the conference behind Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook and Denver’s Jamal Murray.
He scored 19.6 per game last season and 20.0 last season.
Wiggins shot 36.5 and 36.1 on free throw attempts in the previous two games, respectively (the previous two losses were both to the Celtics), and he shot 39.7 per game on those drives.
He did not have a turnover in either of those games.4.
Nikola Vucevic, NuggetsNikola Vucev has been the most consistent scorer in the Nuggets lineup this season (11.1 ppg, 6 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 2 steals per contest).
The Nuggets are one team that has scored at least 100 points in three of their past four outings.
Vuce is averaging 19.3 and 12.9 ppg this season and has shot 42.4 percent on his field goals and 36 percent on freebies.
His rebounding is up to a career-high 9.2 per game as well.5.
DeAndre Jordan, ClippersDeAndre Jordan is averaging 17.0 points, 7.0 assists, 5.2 rebounds, 1.6 steals per outing this season as he continues to get healthier.
Jordan has not missed a game in six games this season due to injury.
He missed all of the first eight games of the season with a sprained left ankle, but he has not been out of the lineup since March 21.
Jordan is shooting 39 percent on field goals, 40 percent on FTs, and 45 percent on two-pointers in those seven games.
He was held to two field goals on Saturday.6.
Andrew Harrison, CelticsAndrew Harrison is averaging 15.9, 7, 4, and 5.0 rebounds per contest for the Boston Celtics this season through four games (5.3 ppg and 4.6 rpg).
Harrison has struggled mightily in the past, but his recent play has been solid.
Harrison has averaged a career high 16.0 ppg in two of his past three games, and has scored 17.2 and 12 ppg per game since the All-Star break.
He had 17 points and 10 rebounds in that game.7.
Damian Lillard, BlazersDamian Lillard is averaging 22.9 PPG, 8, 3, and 8 boards per game over his past six games.
Lillard has been an offensive juggernaut this season after averaging 22 points per contest over the first five games.
The Blazers are allowing the sixth-most points per 100 possessions to opposing guards this season at 103.7, per Synergy Sports.
The only way to stop Lillard and the Blazers is to score more than 100 points.