I am about to write what is perhaps the biggest understatement in histoy: Paul Millsap is underrated. He is criminally underrated. He is disrespectfully underrated. He is sinfully underrated. It is quite impossible for me to overstate how underrated Paul Millsap has been throughout his career and the greatness of his jack-of-all trades style. Paul Millsap is a gift to the City of Atlanta that should be treated as such. Let’s rejoice everytime he flips in floater or grabs a rebound then takes it coast to coast. Let’s celebrate everytime he knocks in a timely three-pointer to steady the ship and maintain momentum. A smile should beam from our faces everytime he drops a pinpoint pass to Al Horford and finishes for the flush. We should brag about his presence to our friends and roar in delight when he does saucy move. We should be so happy because the Anchorman is here to hold us down.
Paul Millsap is from the south. Monroe, Louisiana to be exact. He went to Louisiana Tech, hardly a nexus of basketball talent. He performed admirably on the college stage, becoming the first player in NCAA history to lead the nation in rebounds three consecutive seasons. He finished college with averages of 19 and 13. When he declared for the draft, he was once again slept on, falling into the second round at 47th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. The Utah Jazz were his destination as he lingered on the bench for years behind Carlos Boozer. He earned the starting spot when Boozer departed from Utah to join the Chicago Bulls. Millsap officially put his face on the map (along with putting the Hawks on notice) with a 46 point performance against the mighty Miami Heat including 11 points in the last 28 seconds of regulation. He made three three-pointers during that period. Despite numbers like 17 points and 8 rebound she was still being left off the all-star ballot. He was still being ignored.
And then we got lucky. Paul Millsap decided to come to Atlanta via free agency before the 2013-2014 NBA season. He has made the All-Star team twice since then and is poised to make it again next year. He has averaged 17-8-3 with 1.8 steals and 1 block since coming to the Hawks. He simply plays like a swiss army knife was magically transformed into a sturdy 6-8, 250 pound man. He can do it all and we are grateful to have him here holding us down when it counts. He is tough as nails and sharp as them too. He plays with the ferocity and demeanor of a boar. Too much power for the little guys. Too much finesse for the big guys. His blend of down south cooking makes him one of the best PFs of the league and should be treated as such. It is okay that he is underrated. It is okay that he flies under the radar. It is okay that he does not get the love from the national media. It will just make his eventual triumph that much sweeter. #TRUETOATLANTA