Top 50 players of 2012 #43 Paul Millsap
Paul Millsap wasn’t the most appealing forward to watch in 2012, however the man sacrificed every rebound, every steal, and every second on defense that resulted to lure the Utah Jazz to the playoffs the first time in the post Deron Williams era.
- 16.6 points per game
- 1.8 steals per game
- 8.8 Rebounds per game
- 2006-2007 All rookie team (2nd)
Being drafted by the Utah Jazz with the 47th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, Millsap didn’t have any high expectations coming out of Louisiana Tech University. However, Millsap would become an important ingredient for Utah’s success.
Millsap has a wide range of ability on both the offensive end and defensive end. Millsap was very resourceful for his team when they needed it the most. Millsap’s leadership, versatility, quick hands, scoring ability, and fresh legs make Millsap a menace in the paint for opposing units.
Millsap was referred to as the “backup” to the Utah Jazz organization in his first four years with the association; backing up all star forward, Carlos Boozer. Year by year, Millsap’s stat line would progress and eventually showed Utah he had starting material in his game and the Jazz knew it.
Entering Millsap’s 5th year with the Jazz, Utah decided to not re-sign Carlos Boozer to a long term agreement, and resulted into the starting promoted role for Millsap in 2010-2011.
Millsap would fare well in his first season starting for the Jazz; putting Utah in playoff position at the all-star break, however learned that the Jazz’ long time superstar, Deron Williams was traded to the New Jersey Nets in exchange for future draft picks and a couple other players; also hall of fame coach Jerry Sloan retired from coaching Utah at nearly the same time and would add an excruciating amount of trouble for the Jazz to make a push for the playoffs in the second half of the season. Millsap and the bunch couldn’t handle the added pressure in 2011, missing out in the playoffs for the first time in six years for the Jazz.
In 2012, things would change for the Jazz, adding two lottery picks from the 2011 NBA Draft, Utah would add some intriguing players to the roster to help the Jazz for the long term. Millsap would emerge as the leader of the unit, charging Utah to the last seed of the NBA playoffs. However, Utah could not handle the first seed in the Western Conference (San Antonio Spurs) and would find out hat it wasn’t enough, being swept by the high powered Spurs in the first round.
However for Millsap, 2012 marked a memorable year for him; emerging as the team’s leader. Paul Millsap was the perfect example of a guy that started out at the bottom, and rose to new heights; and he ain’t done yet.
Previous players on the top 50 players of 2012:
- No. 44 Wesley Matthews
- No. 45 Manu Ginobili
- No. 46 Gerald Wallace
- No. 47 Nene
- No. 48 Serge Ibaka
- No. 49 Jason Terry
- No.50 Tyson Chandler