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Milwaukee Bucks' Beno Udrih: An Underappreciated Player

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 12:  Beno Udrih #19 of the Sacramento Kings sets up the offense against the Los Angeles Lakers on December 12, 2008 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers won 112-103.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Blake MehiganCorrespondent IJune 30, 2011

There are plenty of point guards in the NBA and after this draft there will be a lot more. Each one has a different role on their team and has a different set of skills. There are the distributors, the shooters, the defenders and the combo guards to name a few.

There are plenty of names associated with point guards too, like Paul, Williams and Rose. There is another name that I think of though, Udrih. Beno Udrih. 

The Slovenian's career has been anything other than easy though. 

He struggled to find his niche on a Spurs team that demanded tough and determined players. After three less than memorable seasons in San Antonio, he was dealt to Minnesota where he didn't play a single minute. He was cut almost immediately after he was traded.

In November of 2007, Udrih was given another chance. With an injured Mike Bibby, the Kings looked for someone to step in and Udrih was just what they needed.

The fans embraced him almost immediately, as Sacramento tends to do. He came in and helped rite the ship that was just beginning to sink. 

He produced solid numbers and made former star Mike Bibby expendable. Udrih left people foolishly hopeful for the next season. The honeymoon was short lived.

A Ron Artest-less Kings and a freshly paid Beno Udrih won a skant 17 games in his second season. Udrih came under heavy scrutiny from fans, including myself. He underachieved and looked to be one of several disappointments on a team going nowhere. 

He didn't stay down long, though. The player referred to as "Beno Draino" reinvented himself.

In his third season, Udrih looked like the player the Kings signed the summer before. He was playing with confidence he had been missing the season before. Udrih was displaying the consistency that a team in rebuilding mode needed desperately. 

The refreshing part was he managed to produce as a starter or off the bench, while many players struggled to be consistent in a rapid and ever-changing rotation.

It was easy forgot all the things that Beno did well though. His mid-range game is unheralded, he doesn't like to force the action either. The Slovenian also proved to be a great compliment to a developing Tyreke Evans.

Before I get carried away, he does have his shortcomings.

He isn't the best defender, he isn't a great passer and he isn't the quickest player, but he is a vastly underrated offensive player. It is easy to think of what isn't there as opposed to what is there, as is the case for anything else.

The former Kings guard became someone that could even be trusted down the stretch of games, knocking in crucial free throws, he even would made many shots in pressure situations. 

While him being traded will free up time for draftee Jimmer Fredette and the other backcourt players, his presence will be missed. Enjoy him Milwaukee, he and Brandon Jennings should compliment each other very well.

Also, watch for his little spin move, it is unwittingly effective. 

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