Paul Millsap has always been an energy guy and a hard worker on the boards since being drafted in the second round out of Louisiana Tech. When the Hawks signed him three years ago, very few thought he would emerge as the heart and soul of one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. He has totally revolutionized his game and not only become the best player in Atlanta, but one of the most elite power forwards in the whole NBA. He is in the midst of his best season as a pro and is well on his way to his third consecutive All-Star appearance. So how could a guy like this possibly fail to make the 30-Man Team USA cuts? Well, I have yet to find a good answer.
Draymond Green has gotten MVP-type love from the media, and for the most part it is deserved. He has put up an NBA-leading 8 triple doubles, has seen vast improvements in almost all areas of his game, and has watched his Golden State Warriors team get off to a historic start. However, most of this love is not given because of his numbers on paper, its given because what he brings to the team from and energy and defensive standpoint as well. What most people outside of Atlanta fail to realize, is that Paul Millsap brings that same sort of energy to the Hawks. The Atlanta Hawks’ broadcasters Bob Rathbun and Dominique Wilkins have coined Millsap as the Anchorman because he simply does everything. He can score in the low post, shoot from the perimeter, is a tenacious rebounder, good shot blocker and has a terrific ability to steal the basketball for a big man. He really is a Draymond Green on steroids and the numbers are there to back it up. Millsap’s stat line reads 18.5 points on 49.4% shooting, 8.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. Green’s stat line reads 14.5 points on 46.6% shooting, 9.5 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. Their stats are very similar, but Millsap stacks up even better when comparing him to the rest of the power forwards in the NBA. The Anchorman ranks second in PER among all power forwards, only behind the freak that is Anthony Davis. Draymond Green comes in at sixth.
There is really no doubt that Millsap was snubbed by not making the 30-man roster cuts, but was he the biggest snub of them all? A lot have people were upset that Damien Lillard and Dwayne Wade failed to make it, but I do not think there is any question Millsap was a much bigger snub. When looking at the people who made it in front of Paul Millsap at the forward position, it is almost embarrassing. Rudy Gay, Keneth Faried and Harrison Barnes all made the 30-man roster. Lillard and Wade are in the much more competitive guard group which Team USA has seemingly endless options. Millsap should have been a guy that was a no-brainer for the 30-man roster and should have had a serious shot at making the final team. He is that terrific of a player and it is time for the rest of the league to start taking notice.