Sports Illustrated continued its countdown of the Top 100 players in the NBA on Wednesday and Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap lands at No. 15. Millsap’s game has blossomed during his time in Atlanta and the versatility is what defines him best. Not just on the offensive end but on the defensive end as well.
Millsap’s game is a riff on the same principles that make Draymond Green so damn effective. It’s an interesting comparison: Green is a slightly better defender and passer but Millsap is the more capable scorer and rebounder. There are situations in which one would clearly make more sense than the other, but in a general sense they share an otherwise unique corner of the NBA landscape. Bigs who make plays, spread the floor, and defend well across multiple positions are catalyzing the best teams in the league. Millsap is that sort—complete with a capable handle and effective post game that help him fill out the box score.
Millsap moved up 17 spots from last year’s Top 100 list. He was Atlanta’s best player on most nights and he and Al Horford combined to anchor a defense that finished second in the league in defensive rating despite not having a classic stopper on the roster.
Not much more needs to be said. Millsap has done whatever the Hawks have needed him to night in and night out. It is good that people around the league are starting to take notice of that.