NBA Most Improved Player Candidates

NBA Most Improved Player Candidates

Now that all the playoff spots are taken and the regular season is a day from ending, the NBA will turn its attention to handing out some awards. The MVP race appears to be over, but there are a few other races yet to be determined. One of the more intriguing ones to monitor is the Most Improved Player. There are at least a dozen legit candidates worth considering, although the likely winner can be narrowed down to a handful of players. Here’s the list of favorites.

Goran Dragic (Suns) – The fifth-year shooting guard has blossomed in head coach Jeff Hornacek’s fast-paced offense. Dragic has nearly doubled his career scoring output and set career highs in rebounds per game and shooting percentage. He is the definition of “Improved” because not many pundits expected him to ever

become a go-to option.

Anthony Davis (Pelicans) – A bad back ended his season early, but Davis displayed an uncanny amount of skill and future potential during his second season. Statistically, he wasn’t that much better from his rookie campaign, but watching him dominate on a nightly basis in March proved his ceiling is immense. Once he refines his game (similar to Blake Griffin), Davis will become a viable MVP candidate for the next ten years.

DeAndre Jordan (Clippers) – Jordan has always possessed a wealth of talent, but Doc Rivers has turned him into one of the best starting centers in the league. He set career bests in points, rebounds, assists, and blocks and was incredibly durable, playing in every game for the second straight season. He’s not as flashy as Chris Paul or Blake Griffin, but Jordan’s importance to the Clippers’ success shouldn’t be underestimated.

Kyle Lowry (Raptors) – Lowry showed signs of becoming an offensive threat from 2010-12 with the Rockets, but he really came into his own with the Raptors in 2013-14. He marked career highs in points, assists, and three-point shooting, and more importantly provided Toronto a second scoring option beside backcourt mate DeMar DeRozan.

Gerald Green (Suns) – Get the feeling it was a good season for Phoenix? Green was nothing more than a bench journeyman prior to his arrival in the desert. He not only proved himself as a reliable sixth-man, but also started a career-best 47 games. If the Suns can find a quality low post presence, the guard heavy Suns will make even more noise in 2015.


Lance Stephenson (Pacers) – Danny Granger’s neverending string of injuries opened the door for Stephenson. He was always a solid defender, but he lifted his offensive game to another level. For Indiana to have any chance in the playoffs, he will have to be on point.

Taj Gibson (Bulls) – Like DeAndre Jordan, Gibson finally lived up to his potential by developing a consistent low post game, and staying healthy. He’s a leading Sixth Man candidate after setting career highs in scoring and free-throw percentage.

Jodie Meeks (Lakers) – Meeks took advantage of Kobe Bryant’s absence by becoming one of the league’s top three-point snipers. If the Lakers weren’t so horrible, he’d be mentioned a lot more in the conversation.