With so many All-Star names in the NBA a lot of times the average NBA viewer may miss some players that are overlooked due to their tie-ins with a crappy team, hampered due to youth or the depth of a bench full of capable veterans. Sure these guys may not have a killer instinct in them or may lack in certain fields making them a more complete player but there’s times when I’ll be catching what appears to be another episode of Tankapalooza 2013-2014, when all of a sudden Michael Carter-Williams decides to steal the show with his awe inspiring hustle and finesse. These are, in my opinion, the top four players that get you genuinely excited as you watch them flash feats of greatness, making a name for themselves to become the new Paul George or Joakim Noah all the while being entertaining as hell.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
*Whew* That one is a mouthful, Giannis Antetokounmpo a.k.a. The Greek Freak has cause all in Milwaukee to actually have something forward to seeing when they attend games. Think of it like Andre Drummond was for Detroit last year, moments of complete thrills as he destroyed rims and did this to Dwayne Wade. Giannis for the most part has been a mysterious figure in the league, averaging just under twenty minutes a game and the most he’s scored in a game was eleven, it was against the reigning champs, and he was 3-5 on his three-point attempts. The fact that he is also still growing, both skill wise and in height gives the Greek Freak plenty of upside as a project and possibly a steal in a draft that many though lacked on real talent. Besides, just look how much fun he is having.
Lance Stephenson, Indiana Pacers
Stephenson’s “I will eat your babies!” face.
Lance Stephenson embodies everything Frank Vogel could ever want in a player. Hard nosed, hustles and has a stare down that few could duplicate to the degree that I would pay to see him and Metta World Peace have a staring contest. His coming out of his shell defining moment was definitely the Pacers-Knicks playoff series in where it seemed like Stephenson was a one man wrecking crew hell bent on smashing the Knicks every chance he got. His play defines his personality as well, chaotic, out of control yet at the same time looking like an acrobat with perfect poise. His “I don’t give a damn who you are or what you’ve done!” demeanor is the truest depiction of what the Pacers team identifies with.
Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers
Crawford with the shake n’ bake
Amongst all the high flying antics of DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, the Chris Paul crisp assists there lies Jamal Crawford. Crawford has one of the most devastating crossovers in the game, his pull up three pointer also in his arsenal makes him one of the more deadly shooting guards in the game. Though a nomad throughout his career it seems as if the Clippers are a perfect match with the depth they have on their roster to where Crawford can come in as sixth man capable of slicing up second units or even running the point with his skilled ball handling. He may not be the best player on his team but when he catches fire, get ready to be burned, his ability to flip the “on” switch seemingly any moment he has the ball makes him one the more exciting players to watch on a team contending for a championship.
Marco Belinelli, San Antonio Spurs
The Italian Stallion’s
The closest thing I think we’ll get to see as the Italian Stallion playing basketball, (seriously the dude is a spitting image of Stallone back in his Rambo First Blood days) Belinelli has almost a pick-up game type of style about him that makes him seem clumsily unstable only to be fooled once you see the ball defy natural laws and go through the hoop. Belinelli fills the role of what a young Ginobili once was, a disrupter. He’s shooting 51% from the field and 56% from three point land. His unorthodox style creates for moments of what looks to be a sure turnover or Belinelli tripping over some invisible wire when suddenly he fires precision pass or makes an unsinkable shot leaving you wondering what the hell you just saw. One thing is for certain, makes for one of the more entertaining players whether he’s fighting Mr. T or serving his meatballs spicy.