NBA

Kemba Walker.

The NBA's three most underappreciated players

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The NBA is currently enjoying one of its best ever generations of superstars across the league.

Almost every team has at least one genuine star and that has rarely been the case in years gone by.

The game has truly gone global and that's thanks to the talent level in the NBA as they regularly draw audiences from all over the world.

But for a number of reasons, there are some superstars who stand out more than others.

There are several players who don't get the recognition their work deserves, either because they're not as popular, or play in a small market and don't receive as much attention.

But it's time to give some love to those stars that perform at a high level on a consistent basis and rarely get the respect they deserve.

Here are the three most underappreciated stars in the NBA today:

Atlanta Hawks v Charlotte Hornets

KEMBA WALKER - Charlotte Hornets

The league is currently being dominated by point guards and there are truly outstanding Hall of Fame worthy players at the position at present. Debates regularly ensue about who the best is and who feature in the top five or 10.

The one constant in those debates, however, is the regular omission of Walker. Despite improving in every year he's been in the league and becoming the leader for the Hornets, he simply doesn't get enough credit for his play.

He deservedly earned his first All-Star nod last season as he averaged a career-best 23.2 points per game on 44.3 percent shooting and 39.9 percent from three-point range.

Orlando Magic v Charlotte Hornets

So far this year he's posting 22.6 ppg, 6.1 assists, and 3.7 rebounds and remains one of the most consistent guards in the league. The 27-year-old has worked on all of his weaknesses since being drafted out of Connecticut in 2011 and has become an indispensable member of the Charlotte franchise.

Walker has even turned himself into a reliable defender and can now be considered a two-way threat on the court. The fact that he hasn't guided the Hornets to the playoffs on a regular basis may work against him but he deserves to be a perennial All-Star and shouldn't be overlooked in conversations anymore.

AL HORFORD - Boston Celtics

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics

The former Atlanta Hawks center may just be having the best season of his career and is slowly starting to put himself in possible All-Star contention once again.

His last appearance came in 2016 with the Atlanta Hawks but with the Boston Celtics owning the league's best record at 22-5, he could receive another call for the February showpiece.

The 31-year-old has been a huge reason for the team's success this year, particularly on the defensive end. Boston has the number one defense in the NBA this year and Horford has made that possible.

Boston Celtics v Atlanta Hawks

Head coach Brad Stevens has put him in the best possible system and surrounded with the right personnel to help him best utilize his skills on both ends. He's currently averaging 13.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game.

The veteran has been able to adapt his game and transform into a perfect modern day big man but rarely gets a mention among the best in the league.

He can defend multiple positions, score inside and out on the three-point line and is a terrific passer. He is a leading candidate for the Defensive Player of the Year award already and should be spoken about more often.

NIKOLA VUCEVIC - Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic  v New York Knicks

Having failed to reach the playoffs since Dwight Howard's departure, there is always little focus on the Orlando Magic and their players as they're almost seen as irrelevant in most people's eyes.

This is evidenced by the fact that the Magic are one of only three teams who have no games scheduled to appear on national television this season. So unless you're a fan of the team and watch them on League Pass, you won't be aware of the good players they have.

For that reason, Nikola Vucevic's name doesn't crop up very often despite the center posting productive numbers almost every campaign.

Orlando Magic v New Orleans Pelicans

He's continued that this year too as he's putting up 16.9 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocks a night. The Montenegrin is a walking double-double and ranks in the top 15 in the league in this category this season.

Even his terrific 32-point, 12-rebound performance against the New York Knicks recently went largely unnoticed even though Orlando has made a relatively decent start in the opening 27 games with an 11-16 record.

Vucevic will probably have to lead the Florida-based outfit to the postseason to be taken more seriously but for now, he remains a victim of being a good player on a bad team.

Topics:
NBA
Kemba Walker
Charlotte Hornets
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
Orlando Magic
Boston Celtics
Atlantic Division
Nikola Vucevic

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