Not everyone can be the MVP of the league. But though these players mostly stayed out of the spotlights, they’ve all done something impressive this year.
Harris might not play the role D’Angelo Russell has with the Nets, but he is probably as important as the former Laker. He competed in this year’s three-point contest, and was not even anywhere near the spotlights, as the Curry brothers and Nowitzki were the absolute favorites, but eventually Harris took home the price.
No one would have expected this just a couple of years ago, when Harris’ world collapsed within a couple of hours. In the morning he had foot surgery, then he was traded, and his day ended with being waved. It took a couple of months before the three-point specialist found a team again, and he even doubted whether he would ever play in the league again. But, the Nets signed him, and he finally got the chance to show everyone what he got.
Though his name isn’t even mentioned on the Most Improved Player list, the name of the 31-year-old big man of the Bucks should definitely be one there. Within a year, Lopez went from just hitting three threes in eight seasons, to being a three-point assassin. Furthermore, he’s shooting (and making) way more threes than any 7-footer before him.
This shows how the NBA has changed over the past years, but even more, it shows how Lopez did nothing but his best to keep fitting in with the league. In November, he even hit eight threes in one single game. He’s proved himself to be a great addition to Antetokounmpo, getting out of his way and still being a threat for the opponents.
Before the season even began, the race was already done, as most people were sure Doncic would win the Rookie of the Year award. Others weren’t even sure if Doncic could handle the NBA, as the Euroleague couldn’t even be compared to the NBA. Of course, Doncic has proven to be a great fit. Sure, his Mavericks haven’t been able to reach the playoffs this year, but will probably be the last time in a while.
The 2018 Euroleague MVP got seven triple-doubles this season, introduced everyone to his great stepbacks, and has proven he’s definitely a future All-Star. He’ll be the player that takes over Dirk Nowitzki’s role as franchise player, as soon as the German retires. As soon as he achieves that, the next step for him will be one of the best players in the league.
Huerter was also a rookie this year, just as Doncic, but though he has done a great job for the Hawks this year, and has showed flashes of what kind of player he can be in the league, his best moment didn’t happen on the court, but off the court.
As everyone knows, Dwyane Wade is having his ‘Last Dance’, a last season in the NBA, and part of that was swapping jerseys with friends or star players of the other teams at the end of every game. But, when the Heat played the Hawks, he decided to do something totally different. Somehow, Wade had heard that he was Huerter’s youth idol, and that Huerter had even chosen to wear Wade’s number because of that. So, one of Wade’s last actions was not only to give a young player some recognition, but symbolically give the new generation of shooting guards, as Huerter is, his blessing.