The NBA has its share of worker bees—players who step on the court night after night and through sheer hard work, determination and effort put up numbers that are surprisingly good. They don't overwhelm you with pretty plays. They impress you with diligence.
These aren't the NBA's elite players. They aren't supposed to be, and they are never going to be. They are players that produce a surprising amount for the time they have their hands on the ball.
Some of these guys are "surprising" just because they're producing more than most people are giving them credit for.
Some them are "surprising" because they came out of nowhere.
Some are "surprising" because we tend to think of them as defensive specialists and they produce more on the offensive end than they get credit for.
With each of them, you'll probably raise an eyebrow when you see what they did last year if you weren't already aware. They are "ranked" in terms of the difference between in the gap between perception and reality.