There are a handful of NBA players, such as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Shaquille O'Neal, who are names that everybody in the country knows.
Then there are those, such as Pau Gasol, Deron Williams and Dirk Nowitzki, that even the casual basketball fan is aware of.
However, basketball is an intricate and complicated sport, and it takes more than a few guys to be a great basketball team.
Normally, a team needs to be at least nine players deep in order to be a good team, and it is the role players and the unheralded grinders that put a team over the top.
So here we will take a look at all of the teams and bring the unheralded players to the limelight to look at which players do the hard work for little attention from the media, and thrive from the love of their local fans.
Here are the most underrated players on each team.
Williams is still starting at small forward for the Hawks, but he has had his minutes cut from previous seasons.
Down from around 32 minutes a game to 28 this season, he is averaging 9.3 points, but is shooting the ball better than he ever has this season, draining 49 percent of his shots.
Williams is a fighter for rebounds, averaging five a game, and is good at taking anything the opposing defense gives him, with a great ability to score off the drive and an even better ability to spot up and shoot.
Does anybody else remember two seasons ago when Tracy McGrady went down for the Rockets in 2008 and Von Wafer stepped up and absolutely killed it?
During December of that season, Wafer scored in double digits in 14 straight games and ratcheted up the intensity each time he stepped onto the court.
Wafer is a clutch player and is an extremely strong shooting guard with excellent athleticism, and has the ability to get rebounds at will and can be very good defensively when he is trying.
Somebody get this boy some minutes so we can at least see if he's still got it.
Thomas' defensive abilities were always well known, and he has always been an intimidating figure on the floor, but his offensive game has always been questioned since being drafted in 2006.
After failing to produce big numbers in Chicago, he was greatly forgotten about, but now he is putting up 12 points a night to go along with his stellar defense and shot-blocking ability.
He can go off on any given night and has the ability to go for 20 points and 10 rebounds every time he steps on the floor.
His shooting percentage is stellar right now at 51 percent, and he is shooting 83 percent from the free-throw line, which is finally earning him the playing time that he deserves.
Ever since the Bulls acquired Carlos Boozer, the talk has been about how good they will be once he gets on the floor.
One thing that is being ignored, however, is how good Taj Gibson is filling in in the meantime, looking excellent off the pick-and-roll and improving rapidly as a jump shooter.
Shooting at a 51 percent clip and putting up over 11 points per game has helped rocket the Bulls to the top of the Central Division.
Gibson has also been one of the best defensive power forwards in the league, averaging a steal and 1.5 blocks a game, to go along with seven rebounds.
Watching LeBron's return to Cleveland was pretty depressing if you are one of those chosen Cleveland fans (yep), save for two players who looked like they actually knew what they were doing.
One was Anderson Varejao, who has had his years of underratedness, and is now properly rated, and the other was Daniel Gibson.
Gibson was the energy in the game, and the only guy sinking shots, and that was surprising enough considering that he is only 6' 2".
He was the second-most important player in their 2007 NBA Finals run as he absolutely destroyed the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals, and then he was forced onto the bench with point guards galore on the Cavs, with Mo Williams eventually taking the starting spot for good in 2008.
This season he is averaging over 13 points, three rebounds and three assists in just under 27 minutes per game, and is shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc.
For some reason, Jason Terry has never gotten the love that he deserves in the NBA.
Terry has never averaged fewer than 12 points a game in a full season and is averaging 16 points per game this season.
He is a hard-working player who is always ready to work to improve his game, shown by his defensive improvement this season.
Terry has usually been a pretty good one-on-one defender, giving him a handful of steals a game, but it often puts him out of position. Now, Terry has been more of a defender in the flow of the game, playing the passing lanes rather than playing over-aggressive on his man.
The fact that the Detroit Pistions traded Afflalo for a can of peanuts and an afro pick for Ben Wallace is just stunning.
Afflalo was one of the most promising young players on Detroit before he got shipped to Denver, where he has responded by becoming their starting shooting guard, shooting threes at 44 percent, and averaging over 12 points a game.
Afflalo is slowly becoming a great player in Denver, as he has great defense, dribble-drive ability and a high basketball IQ.
I'd say this is one trade that Detroit is going to regret.
Will Bynum is another D-League and Euroleague superstar that has fought his way onto an NBA roster to start to see some real playing time.
In the past two seasons, Bynum has shown good mid-range shooting ability and is one of the better defensive point guards in the league.
He seems like a young Eric Snow who, while unable to score huge amounts of points, can direct a game and play as tough defense as anybody in the league.
Dorell Wright is a terrific player who gets absolutely no love, and got even less of it on Miami in the past five seasons.
However, Wright is finally getting the time on the court that he deserves, averaging over 35 minutes a game and returning the favor to the Warriors by averaging 15 points, five rebounds and three assists a game.
He used to be just a great jump shooter, but has developed a three-point shot, and is draining them at a pace of 41 percent and is making two long balls per game.
He is also an excellent defender, averaging both a steal and a block per game. There is nearly nothing this guy does wrong.
Hill is a big boy that was disappointing for the Knicks in the first half of last season, so they shipped him to Houston, where he seems to have found his niche.
He is making 54 percent of his shots and is rapidly improving his defense, and with his improved footwork he is committing fewer stupid fouls and blocking more shots.
The Rockets have used Hill at both power forward and center in the two years that he has been with the team, and he has played aptly in both spots.
He is a solid player who with his high-energy play is a guy who chases after every loose ball and rebound, giving the team invaluable second-chance opportunities.
You may remember Brandon Rush as the guy who scored 25 points in the 2008 national championship game against North Carolina, but has not been heard of much since.
Well, the main reason for that seems to be that he was on the Pacers for the past three seasons, but now he is stepping back up.
The Pacers are a decent team again and Brandon Rush is putting together his best year so far, with 10 points and a block and a steal per game.
Brandon Rush is just starting to take off and is improving every game.
Here he is blocking Kevin Durant
DeAndre Jordan has been the key beneficiary of the ankle injury to Chris Kaman, and has used his starting time to show off some skill.
Jordan is playing fewer than 20 minutes a game, but is still putting up five points and barely ever missing a shot, shooting 65 percent.
To go along with that, Jordan is grabbing five rebounds a game and a block to show the Clippers that they might want to see what else he is capable of.
Many will say that Lamar Odom or Andrew Bynum are the underrated players on the Lakers, but after two years of that talk, they have become aptly rated—now it's Shannon Brown.
Brown is a pretty good defender, but his defense isn't what makes him as good as he is—he is a tremendous shooter.
From anywhere on the floor, Brown will probably make a shot, as he is shooting 48 percent total and 46 percent from three-point range.
Conley has been steadily improving ever since he entered the league four years ago, and is playing like a madman since signing his extension.
He is averaging 14 points and six assists, shooting 38 percent from three-point land and is averaging more than two steals a game.
His offense is what got him the starting gig over O.J. Mayo and his defense is what is keeping him there.
It was difficult to find an underrated guy on a team with three All-Starts and a bunch of old or league minimum contract players, but I finally settled on Joel Anthony.
My biggest reason that Joel Anthony is underrated is that he looks like Terry Crews and is a poor man's Ben Wallace.
Take a look at Anthony and tell me that he shouldn't get more playing time just for the fact that he looks like Terry Crews.
Carlos Delfino is another guy who was buried on the bench in the past and finally got a break when he was traded.
Before coming to Milwaukee, the most minutes he averaged was 23 in Toronto in 2008, but since then, given 30 minutes a game, he has put up double-digit points since 2009.
This season he has averaged 12.9 points per game along with three assists and four rebounds, and has shown his defensive prowess with over 1.5 steals per game.
2010 has been his best shooting season yet as he has shot 44 percent and earned a start in every game that he has played in, though he has been hobbled a bit this season.
It's absolutely baffling to me to say this, but Darko Milicic is good this season.
He has been written off as a bust in the past, as he was drafted second after LeBron James and before Carmelo Anthony in 2003.
Detroit gave up on him, and then Orlando gave up on him, then it was Memphis and the Knicks that pushed him out the door.
This season, he has earned the starting center role for Minnesota, and is earning career highs in points, assists, rebounds and blocks so far, with 9.2 points, 2.3 assists, 6.3 boards and 2.8 blocks.
My, how nearly a decade changes things.
Kris Humphries was never given more than 13 minutes per game in Utah and Toronto, but with his arrival at New Jersey, more minutes have come his way.
This season, with 23 minutes per game, Humphries is up to eight points and eight rebounds per game, and is capable of grabbing a double-double on any given night.
His 58 percent shooting is 10 percent higher than he ever has shot before, and his 1.2 blocks per game is the first time he has averaged over a block per game.
Marco Belinelli is one of the few pure shooters still left in the league.
Belinelli can be placed anywhere on the court and be told to take a jump shot, and he will probably end up making the shot.
Belinelli is shooting 42 percent from beyond the arc, and 44 percent overall while averaging 12 points per game as the Hornets' starting shooting guard.
Raymond Felton came out of North Carolina with just as much hype as anyone else to ever come out of North Carolina.
He was drafted by Charlotte, however, and could have scored 84 points a game and nobody would have noticed.
Felton is having his best season in New York this year and is averaging career highs with 18.2 points, 8.1 assists, four rebounds and two steals per game.
My dude here deserves some love.
The second-year big guy out of Zaire made a pretty decent impact a year ago in Oklahoma City, and is doing even more this season.
Ibaka has earned a share of the starting power forward spot on the Thunder and is putting up over 10 points per game.
He is shooting 57 percent overall and is 15 percent better from the free-throw line, shooting 78 percent so far this season to go along with two blocks and seven assists per game.
Brandon Bass is doing a great job at backing up Rashard Lewis this season and is getting very little love for his efforts.
Bass is shooting 51 percent this season and is averaging 10 points and five rebounds per game for the Magic, and is helping them look like one of the best teams in the league.
His toughness gives Orlando something that it hasn't had in the past, a guy willing to run over a few players, throw some elbows and get down and dirty.
Jrue Holiday has gotten all the love, and all the starts for that matter, at the point guard position for the 76ers.
But Holiday is far from their best point guard—that goes to Lou Williams.
Compared to Holiday, Williams plays 12 fewer minutes, but scores only two fewer points, posting 11.8 a game to go along with 3.5 assists.
Williams has struggled this season as a shooter, but is more selective with his shots, and only takes the ones that he thinks he can make.
Grant Hill is one of those guys that could have been a superstar but had his career devastated by injuries. Unlike other players like that, Hill has been able to continue on a very successful career, and he has worked out well on nearly every team he has been on.
Hill has all but disappeared from the limelight, however, even though he is still producing at a terrific rate, as well as continuing to play some of the best defense in the league.
Up from his previous three seasons, Hill has 14.4 points per game so far this season, and is shooting a ridiculous 54 percent this season.
He may be an old dude (he's 38) but he still deserves some props, so give 'em to him.
The Portland Trail Blazers have had their injury problems, and that might be what has kept Nicolas Batum from national recognition.
A season ago, Batum played only 37 games, but he still did quite well, and that play has picked right back up this season.
Starting at small forward for the Blazers, he is putting up 12 points a game and is shooting 45 percent, along with a steal and four rebounds a game.
Batum has lock 'em down, drag 'em out defense and can stop some of the best in the league from scoring; his defense alone deserves some recognition.
Garcia was on his way to a great career in Sacramento until he lost his job to Kevin Martin two years ago, but now Martin is gone and Garcia has the chance to step back up.
Before Martin, Garcia was the starting point guard for the Kings and was averaging 12 points a game; this season he is back up to 10 a game and is playing better defense than he was a few seasons ago.
He has always been a shot blocker, but now he does it without taking as many risks, making himself a benefit defensively.
The San Antonio Spurs pride themselves (or at least have in the past) on good defense, and take smart shots.
George Hill fits right in with this mentality. He is an above average defender, and has the potential to be excellent if he takes fewer risks.
He is averaging 11 points a game this season to go along with 44 percent shooting and an impressive 86 percent clip from the free-throw line.
If there was ever a guy who is on the floor for one reason, it's Reggie Evans.
Don't be surprised if you see Evans pull in 20 rebounds on any given night and then put up two points.
He doesn't fit well on the team that he is on, as he would be best suited with a contender, but he is one of the few players in the league that is exciting to watch even though he has nearly no chance of scoring in double figures.
He is the poor man's Dennis Rodman right now, but he could turn into something very close to Rodman with the right team.
Unfortunately, Evans broke his foot and is going to be out for a few months, but is a free agent at the end of this season.
Jefferson is one of those players that has a cult following in the NBA; there is a small core of people that realize how good he is, and the rest look at his skills and see a valuable trade piece.
Al Jefferson has some of the best low-post moves in the league and is a defensive beast.
He is quietly averaging 17 points, nine rebounds and 1.6 blocks a game.
He has always had good stats, and people have looked at him as a pretty good player, but Jefferson is more than a pretty good player.
After an injury last season, Blatche got kinda chunky, but he is such a hard-working player that he hasn't let it get in the way of his improvement.
Blatche is averaging 16.6 points and eight rebounds this season to go along with 42 percent shooting and a steal a game.
He has had some problems in the past few years, as he has been called a headcase at times, but he seems to have gotten over that problem.
So what do you think? Am I a complete idiot? Did I miss your favorite underrated player? Let me know!