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Ranking The 10 Most Underrated Players in the NBA

Ranking The 10 Most Underrated Players in the NBA

Al Horford underrated
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As names like Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony get much of the talk on National Television, players become extremely underrated throughout the NBA. The following list of the 10 most underrated players in the league may come as a surprise because the list includes players who fans are not likely to see highlighted on ESPN very often. Still, they get the job done in the background as the attention is focused on other players.

10. Mike Conley

Mike Conley underrated
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10. Mike Conley

Mike Conley underrated
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Although playing for the slowest-paced team in the NBA, Mike Conley averaged 17.2 points and 6.0 assists per game. Conley is a solid all-around player with a formidable jump shot from deep. Conley never tries to do too much, taking care of the ball and managing the game. Of course, stout defense is necessary in Memphis, and Conley has finished in the top five in steals for point guards three of the past four years.

9. Goran Dragic

Goran Dragic underrated
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9. Goran Dragic

Goran Dragic underrated
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Although Goran Dragic recently won Most Improved Player, but still is vastly underrated by NBA fans. Dragic’s efficiency was on display this past season, shooting over 50 percent from the field, an impressive accomplishment for a guard who tallied 20 points per game. Dragic was one of the main reasons the Phoenix Suns were relevant this season and with him handling the point guard duties for years to come, the Suns have a bright future.

8. Marc Gasol

Marc Gasol underrated
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8. Marc Gasol

Marc Gasol underrated
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Although Marc Gasol won Defensive Player of the Year in 2013, he still does not get enough credit for his work on that end. When Gasol was out with an injury this season, the Memphis Grizzlies were not even respectable on the defensive end of the floor. However, with him on the court, the Grizzlies were a top-three defense. On the other end, the Grizzlies' offense revolves around Gasol's superior passing ability and formidable mid-range jumper.

7. Taj Gibson

Taj Gibson underrated
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7, Taj Gibson

Taj Gibson underrated
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Taj Gibson ranked near the top of the NBA in fourth-quarter minutes this season, and that statistic keyed the Chicago Bulls' success in the final period this year. Gibson, who averaged 18.2 points per game in the playoffs, has a solid face up game and possesses the ability to finish in traffic. The former 26th pick in the NBA Draft broke out this past season and more may be on the way for the 29-year-old.

6. Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry underrated
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6. Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry
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Kyle Lowry has improved greatly throughout his NBA career, culminating in statistics of 17.9 points, 7.4 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game this past season. This year, Lowry was the only player in the league to tally those numbers. Certainly, he was one of the main reasons the Toronto Raptors held the third seed in this year's playoffs. Toronto's ownership clearly took notice of that, giving him a multi-year contract to stay with the Raptors.

5. Nikola Pekovic

Nikola Pekovic underrated
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5. Nikola Pekovic

Nikola Pekovic underrated
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Nikola Pekovic’s biggest problem is his injury history, playing in only 54 games this past season. However, when he played, he performed at an extremely high level averaging 17.4 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Pekovic is never mentioned as a top big man, but his consistency and efficiency speak otherwise. He is one of the strongest players in the NBA and if he can avoid the injury bug this season, fans will have to start taking notice.

4. Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis underrated
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4. Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis underrated
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Fans know that Anthony Davis is a big man with tons of potential, but they do not realize exactly what he accomplished this year at the age of only 21 with a depleted cast. Davis produced 20.8 points and 10.0 rebounds per game this year, while anchoring the New Orleans Pelicans defense with 2.8 blocks per game. With other Pelicans around him healthy, do not be surprised if Davis makes his way into the top five all-around players next season.

3. Paul Millsap

Paul Millsap underrated
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3. Paul Millsap

Paul Millsap underrated
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The 2013-2014 NBA season demonstrated that Paul Millsap is much more than a high-motor type of player. Millsap developed into a dominant presence on the perimeter, shooting 35.8 percent from deep. His versatility causes problems for opposing defenses, and with Al Horford coming back healthy, Millsap will find easier ways to score. In Atlanta, he is in a sound system for his skill-set and will continue to put up big numbers under Mike Budenholzer.

2. Al Jefferson

Al Jefferson underrated
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2. Al Jefferson

Al Jefferson underrated
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Al Jefferson showed that he was capable of leading a young team to the playoffs this past season. Jefferson, who is one of the best low-post scorers in the league, averaged over 21 points and 10 rebounds per game for the Charlotte Hornets. He came in eighth place in MVP voting with 34 votes, although he should have gotten more votes than that considering how he transformed the Hornets into a respectable team.

1. Al Horford

Al Horford underrated
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1. Al Horford

Dallas Mavericks v Atlanta Hawks
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Al Horford was having a killer NBA season before tearing his pectoral muscle, averaging over 18 points and 8 rebounds per game and shooting 56.7 percent from the field. Horford is a great defender, possesses the ability to rebound and can make mid-range jumpers consistently. The past two seasons, Horford has quietly broken out, and 20 points and 10 rebounds is well within reach this season.

Nicholas Sciria is a San Antonio Spurs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Nick_Sciria, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google