This Mailbag question is sure to be controversial, but let’s take a stab at it anyway. Weigh in with your thoughts and send your own Mailbag questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try to answer them!
You have given us underrated and overrated players in the past. With all the new blood and transition circling the team now seems like a good time to put you on the spot again. Who is the most overrated and the most underrated player in the NBA. Wait! We are not done yet! Who are your most overrated and underrated TRAIL BLAZERS currently. I know I’m gonna getcha on that one!
For overrated NBA player I’m going to pick a popular choice everywhere (outside of Los Angeles) and say Blake Griffin. He’s a good player...an All-Star for sure. You pretty much have to be a really good player to be overrated. But he’s not All-World and he’s certainly gotten more than his share of celebrity attention.
If you don’t like that one, Zach LaVine is a close second for me.
Finding a truly underrated player is devilishly hard nowadays with hundreds of analysts—armchair and otherwise—combing the NBA’s beaches with statistical metal detectors trying to find the next silver dollar. Almost anybody who’s made a peep is going to get trumpeted by someone.
I’m not sure if he’s truly underrated but Dwight Powell of the Dallas Mavericks would get my vote as a burgeoning good player that not enough people have heard of. Dallas inked him to a 4-year deal this summer so you’re guaranteed to see more of him in the future.
For underrated Trail Blazers I’ll always go with my old standby, Ed Davis. The guy put up eye-popping rebounding numbers off the bench last year while shooting 61% from the field and doing everything the Blazers asked of him. Nobody talks about him much, probably because his offensive game is limited and he’ll never turn into the Next Big Thing. But he’s not just a Glue Guy, he’s support struts and drywall anchors.
Most Overrated Blazer is harder because the knee-jerk reaction is, "How can you say he sucks?!? He totally doesn’t!" This is doubly so since the advent of the Yelp Era where a review containing the word "overrated" is meant to imply that the place sucks.
Overrated does not mean bad.
Overrated does not mean you don’t like or appreciate the subject in question.
Overrated does not mean the player stinks.
Overrated simply means that most people tend to overvalue the overall contributions and fit of a player, usually because certain aspects of their game appeal in an out-sized fashion.
With that litany complete, I’m going to invoke the name of Al-Farouq Aminu. He is unquestionably the best defender on the roster. For every brilliant facet of his game there’s a gaping hole. He’s neither a ball-handler nor a shooter. If he’s not running straight for the basket or grabbing an offensive rebound his offense is a wheelbarrow full of "meh". But his defense has been touted so highly that he feels more like an intrinsic part of the lineup forever than a great guy to have around right now because of the team’s defensive shortcomings.
With that, I’ll throw open the floor to you. Who are your most underrated and overrated players in the league and in Portland? Share below.