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Nicolas Batum, SG/SF, Charlotte Hornets
This unleashed version of Nicolas Batum continues to keep the Charlotte Hornets from capitulating in the wake of the Al Jefferson injury. He's still averaging a career high in assists per game (5.5), and his shooting from beyond the arc (35.5 percent) has helped a team that doesn't always have consistent threats from three-point territory.
Jae Crowder, SF, Boston Celtics
Popular perception still lags well behind the actual production.
Hard as it may be for some non-Boston Celtics fans to wrap their minds around, Jae Crowder has actually played like he belongs on the Eastern Conference All-Star squad. According to my total points added database (TPA, which looks at how many more points a player adds than a league-average contributor and is explained in full throughout this article), he's on pace to finish with the league's No. 22 score.
Pau Gasol, PF/C, Chicago Bulls
Even though Pau Gasol's scoring numbers are dipping, he's remained a dominant rebounder who contributes a surprising amount on the defensive end. The Spanish 7-footer still isn't very mobile, but head coach Fred Hoiberg has been properly planting him right around the basket and allowing the rest of the Chicago Bulls to minimize the territory he must cover.
Isaiah Thomas, PG, Boston Celtics
Throughout NBA history, only five different players listed below 6'0" have managed to average at least 20 points during a qualified season: Michael Adams, Dana Barros, Calvin Murphy, Damon Stoudamire and Isaiah Thomas.
Thomas did so for the first time in 2013-14, but his 21.8 points per game in 2015-16 put him on pace to join Murphy as one of only two multi-time entrants.
Hassan Whiteside, C, Miami Heat
No player in the league is a bigger threat to record a triple-double with blocks as one of the three categories—a feat Hassan Whiteside has already accomplished twice this year. But that still doesn't mean he's as valuable as the raw numbers would indicate. Until he stops chasing rejections at the expense of proper defensive positioning and learns how to pass the ball, he'll keep failing to completely maximize his immense upside.
Other Notables: LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan, Danilo Gallinari, Serge Ibaka, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Love, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, Rajon Rondo, Klay Thompson, Nikola Vucevic, Dwyane Wade