The NBA is known for their superstars making all the highlight plays and big shots, but the keys to winning lie in the weeds and on the role players who do all the dirty work to open up the game for said stars. That’s why we need to give them some love too. Below are just a few role players I enjoy watching and think that they deserve some time in the spotlight.
Bruce Brown – Denver Nuggets
Bruce Brown is a utility man; a do-it-all kinda guy that isn’t afraid of the dirty work. He’s the perfect player to have supporting the prolific scorers of Jokic, Murray, MPJ, and Aaron Gordon. Brown knows his role, takes the right shots, and brings the right energy every night. I guarantee we see Brown come up with some crazy plays come playoff time.
Jarred Vanderbilt – Utah Jazz
Vanderbilt is a backup big that will come in 15-20 minutes a night a pull down some effort rebounds, run the floor, and provide contagious energy for the team. His elite athleticism and strong rebounding % (16.4%) is huge off the bench. Whether he stays on the Jazz or ends up on a contender, you know exactly what to expect from Vando every night.
Kenrich Williams – Oklahoma City Thunder
Efficiency is the name of the game for Williams. He plays smart basketball and shoots the 3 ball at an elite clip. With a catch and shoot 3P% of 42%, Williams provides spacing off the bench for SGA and Giddey. Somehow though, Williams FT% is disgusting as it is in the low 40s. If that wasn’t the case I would think he’d be a league leader in TS%.
Jordan Goodwin – Washington Wizards
Goodwin is a young defensive beast and has played efficient basketball this season. He plays with great effort but also has been stellar in spot up situations. Shooting 46/40/75 on a team that needs supporting players, Goodwin deserves more minutes for the Wizards. As the season goes on I expect Goodwin to have a larger role as they develop their young players.
Derrick White – Boston Celtics
When you think of the Celtics obviously the first thing that comes to mind is Tatum, Brown, Smart, and their bigs. But ever since Boston traded for White, they have had a steadying force come off the bench and provide smart ball and efficient shooting. White can hit big shots and spaces the floor for the elite tandem of Tatum and Brown. It felt like White had huge games last postseason and I expect the same this year as well.