Dre Alvarez (@nerdnumbers) is a Co-Editor for the Wages of Wins Network and is also in charge of handling the stats data. He’s a long time fan of Colorado Sports, depending on the weather. He’s an even bigger fan of the stats, data and all things nerdy.
While we love to crunch numbers and provide objective measures of players but it’s also fun to sometimes just make lists without a specific standard. I had a great deal of fun with my “Could Have Been Great” Team. Devin and I decided to put together a new list. Here’s our “NBA Under-appreciated Team”. There wasn’t a real objective measure except good players that may have been snubbed by their team or fans.
Point Guard: Calderon and Westbrook (tie)
- Jose Calderon (8.1 Wins Produced, 0.185 WP48, 2101 MP) returned from injury and played well. He was snubbed twice this season: first, by his team attempting to trade him and then by the trade team balking! He’s still called overpaid by Toronto fans who refuse to accept the truth.
- Russell Westbrook (11.5 Wins Produced, 0.195 WP48, 2847 MP) put up numbers comparable to Derrick Rose. Like Derrick Rose he also had a poor playoff outing. People responded differently to Westbrook than Rose though. It may be a stretch to call him under-appreciated but hey, it’s our list.
Shooting Guard: Ronnie Brewer
- 2010-2011 Stat Line: (8.4 Wins Produced, 0.226 WP48, 1781 MP)
Derrick Rose had a lot of help to lead the Bulls to the top of the Eastern Conference. Brewer doesn’t get the minutes or accolades to go along with his contributions. This is nothing new for Brewer, who had the same story play out in Utah before being traded to Chicago.
Small Forward: Andre Iguodala
2010-2011 Stat Line: (12.3 Wins Produced, 0.240 WP48, 2469 MP)
Iggy has pretty much been under-appreciated his whole career. Despite leading the Sixers into multiple playoffs the fans still snub him. His criticisms typically include that he is not worth his contract and that the 76ers need to trade him and rebuild. We here at the Wages of Wins Network know better.
Power Forward: Josh Smith
- 2010-2011 Stat Line: (10.2 Wins Produced, 0.185 WP48, 2645 MP)
This was a hard call. Both Lamar Odom and Kevin Love had a good shot at this but they at least they got awards this season. Smith has actually shown an ability to grow as a player and has played as a top power forward in the league. Despite this he gets no accolades. What’s worse is his name constantly ends up in trade rumors. On a team with bigger issues, it’s amazing how little Smith’s efforts are appreciated.
Center: Pau Gasol
- 2010-2011 State Line: (16.9 Wins Produced, 0.268 WP48, 3037 MP)
Many Kobe lovers that use his rings as a defense of his greatness will quickly forget that Kobe’s return to the top coincided with Gasol being airdropped into Los Angeles. After two finals, where Gasol was arguably robbed of the finals MVP, the Lakers hit a bump. The immediate response was to start saying the Lakers needed to rebuild and that they should start with Gasol. Talk about no respect.
Hope you enjoyed it and as always we’d love to hear your suggestions.
-Dre and Devin