All Unsung Hero Team NBA

Toronto Raptors' Pascal Siakam, right, celebrates after dunking next to Los Angeles Lakers' Josh Hart (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

By: Joe Cardoso

We are almost at the All-Star break of the NBA season and this has been one first half for the ages. The amount of storylines has been endless and begs the question where do you start? The fun and exciting Sacramento Kings, James Harden killing everyone, What the Spurs are doing and don’t forget the Bucks. That is like 5% of what is popping off all around the league, but for this article, I want to focus on ballers who are under the radar. This team I put together is from all over the place and have been key in the success of their teams. Most of them will not make the All-Star Game but they will be names that true fans know and those who really watch the game and check box scores. In the age of portionless hoops, I dropped the power forward and went with a 3 guard line-up with big men coming off the bench. 

Starting five for my All-First Half Unsung Team:

Guard: D’ Angelo Russell, Brooklyn Nets

19 ppg, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal

NBA.com
BROOKLYN, NY – MARCH 13: D’Angelo Russell #1 of the Brooklyn Nets shoots a free throw against the Toronto Raptors on March 13, 2018 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Funny how life happens sometimes isn’t it? The Lakers felt the former first-round pick wasn’t getting it and lacked leadership. After being allowed to work on his game and mature Russell is living his best life and playing his best ball. He is one of the team leaders and has a Nets team that most saw doing little this season sitting at 26 wins and at the time of this article winners of 5 in a row. Game winners, 40pt games and a ton of highlights have his stock rising and I am all in on it. This former Buckeye is hitting his stride and the rest of the league better take notice.

Guard: Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn Nets
17 ppg, 3 boards, 5 assists

Spencer
(Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

Hard work pays off and Spencer defines that proof in the great contract he signed with Brooklyn. He has made his mid-range game and hustle a cog in the Nets surprise season. Not to mention his dope sneaker game brought to you by Kickasso. The 4-year man out of Colorado is a problem.

Forward: Tobias Harris, Los Angeles Clippers

21.0 ppg, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists

Tobias Harris
LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 07: Tobias Harris #34 of the Los Angeles Clippers controls the ball during the game against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on April 7, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)


Doc Rivers has done some wonders in L.A. and has them in a spot I didn’t think was in the cards for them. Harris has come a long way from his Orlando Magic days. With an improving game and team, this is a career year. Not know to most leagues fans he will be soon enough, and the 2nd half of the season will be the true test.

Guard: De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings

17 ppg, 7 assists, 2 steals, and 4 rebounds

Fox
(Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports)

The Fox is so much fun to watch play he is always in attack mode and you can see the giant leap his game has taken in year 2. The Kings are a lot of peoples secret NBA league pass crush and worthy of the lost sleep. Who is the fastest player in the NBA with the ball in his had arguments can stop in my opinion it is Fox. Would love to see that 3 point percentage go up, but when you can blow past everyone who needs to shoot it from deep? Along with All Unsung Hero, 6th man Buddy Hield this backcourt is dynamic.

Forward: Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic

21 ppg, 12 rebounds 1 steal and 4 assists.

Nov 16, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) celebrates after scoring against the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at Amway Center. The Magic won 89-82. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The big man is doing it all for a Magic team that can sneak in the playoffs as an 8 seed and possibly win a game or two depending on the matchup. He is a bull in the paint and has developed his game a ton. At 28 he still has time to add to it and may not be in Orlando next year. Will be interesting to see how the rest of the season goes for him and the team. 

All Unsung Hero Team Bench:

Buddy Hield

Pascal Siakam

Jaren Jackson Jr.

Justise Winslow

Julius Randle

Montreal Harrell

Let’s keep the conversation going, who did I miss? Who is on your unsung hero team for the first half? Follow our blog @NutsAndBoltsSP or me @JoeCardoso301. The best of the season is still to come and I cannot wait for it!

Joe Cardoso
About Joe Cardoso 190 Articles
Joe (Cartright) Cardoso here! I’m the epitome of a sports junkie. An alum of the College of Southern Maryland, I received a diploma from the Maryland Institute of Broadcasting (MIB). During my tenure at MIB, I was a news/sports major and had the opportunity to intern at Fox 45 sports and Ravens Radio. I also worked as an overnight board operator for Sports Talk 980 ESPN Radio. I’ve been a total sports fanatic pretty much from the womb. My first love is soccer followed by basketball and then football. My favorite athletes are Kevin Garnett and Marino Rivera and my sports teams are the Yankees, Redskins, Michigan, Wizards, and Chelsea. My passion for sports is never ending. My sister once commented that I would probably follow pig racing if it was a sport! I had to agree. Nuts and Bolts Sports is a HUGE deal to me. It brings together others who share my obsession and love for everything sports and fulfills a life-long dream to bring sports news to fans my way.
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