The 2011-2012 NBA season was the year of the underdog. Many basketball fans we’re pleasantly surprised by many unknown players who have become quality contributors for their respective teams and one who has the cause of an international craze. These FIVE players have stepped up and showed that they can play with the superstars of the NBA.
The 2011-2012 NBA All-Unexpected Team:
PG: Jeremy Lin – NY Knicks: J-Lin is the star of this team. Linsanity took over the NBA for a couple of months during this past season. Jeremy went from the end of the bench to starting for the Knicks and helping them earn the 7th seed in this year’s playoffs. A knee injury cut his season short but Lin has become the poster child for all future basketball underdogs.
SG: Gerald Green – Brooklyn Nets: This explosive high flyer saved his career this year with great play at the end of this season. Green quickly put together a string of good games & highlight plays for the Nets. Green’s amazing journey has taken him from overseas to the D-League to becoming a highly sought after free agent this summer, all in a single season.
SG: Avery Bradley – Boston Celtics: Despite being a 1st round pick. Bradley didn’t get off the bench much last year. It was pretty much the same situation this season until a Ray Allen injury forced the Celts to play Avery & he hasn’t disappointed yet. Bradley has become a nice complement to Rondo with his speed, good defense & his improving shooting range. Avery has become a key part of the Celtics rotation.
PF: Ryan Anderson – Orlando Magic: The 2011-12 Most Improved Player became an All-Star caliber player this year. Ryan averaged 16 points & 7 rebounds a game for Orlando. Anderson’s three point shooting(39.3%) & improved rebounding has made him one of the most wanted free agents this off-season.
C: Ivan Johnson – Atlanta Hawks: This bruiser has played everywhere Korea, China, Puerto Rico and the D-League before making it to the Hawks and becoming a key role player for them after a injury to Al Horford gave him a chance to earn his minutes. Johnson reminds me of Charles Oakley, no nonsense. Ivan plays good defense,he is also a strong offensive rebounder and a improving scorer for the Hawks.
PG: Norris Cole – Miami Heat
SF: Chandler Parsons – Houston Rockets
SF: Steve Novak – New York Knicks
PF: Jordan Hill – LA Lakers
C: Lavoy Allen – Philadelphia 76ers
As a basketball fan, I love to see these type of players get their opportunity to play. It’s even better to watch them succeed among the pressure, superstars, craze fans and prying media. Now, it will be interesting to see if any of these guys will be available to sustain the unexpected production that they have put up this past season.
About the Author
Written by Mark Cook