With the NBA’s regular season drawing to an end we take a look at the top NBA players who have improved the most this season. Here’s a look at the Top 5 candidates who have a chance at getting their hands on the NBA’s Most Improved Player award this season.
5. Eric Gordon
Already a major candidate for the Sixth-man of the year award, Gordon has been great this season for the Rockets since signing with them in the offseason.
Gordon has only started in 14 games this season for the Rockets, leaving him as the key man to come off the bench for Houston. Gordon has averaged 16.3 ppg, 2.6 apg and 2.6 rpg so far this season for the Rockets. Eric is averaging a field-goal percentage of 41% and he has established himself as a prolific three-point shooter within the League, averaging 38% from behind the arc. We also saw Gordon win the JBL Three-Point Contest in February during All-Star weekend.
Gordon has been great this season for the Rockets and expect to see him take home the Sixth-man of the year award at the end of the year. Gordon is also a major candidate to take home the Most Improved Player award in June.
4. Isaiah Thomas
The ‘King of the Fourth Quarter’ has been sensational this season for Boston. Averaging 29.1 ppg and 5.9 apg, Isaiah has turned into a fan favorite in the NBA. Thomas has played great basketball so far this season, featuring in 73 of the Celtics 79 games so far this season.
Thomas has led the Celtics to a 50W-29L record for the season which sees Boston lying just behind the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference. Isaiah has helped Boston play some extremely good basketball this season and people now consider Boston to be major title contenders because of this.
Isaiah has done exceptionally well this year and is another big candidate for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award.
3. Nikola Jokic
The 22-year-old Serbian center has been a monster this season for the Denver Nuggets. In just his second season in the NBA, Jokic has solidified his spot as the starting center on the Nuggets roster. Jokic has made huge improvements to his game this year, averaging 16.5 ppg and 9.8 rpg.
Jokic was drafted 41st overall in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets. For a second round pick, Jokic has been excellent so far and performed much better than anybody thought he would have. Jokic has been one of the main reasons behind the Nuggets good year so far which has left them contending for the 8th spot in the Western Conference.
Overall it’s been a good year for Jokic and hopefully, we’ll get to see him compete in the Playoffs with the Nuggets. Jokic has recorded 6 triple-doubles so far this year and I’m sure there will be many more to come in the future as we look forward to seeing how the rest of the Serbian Big-Man’s career pans out.
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo
The Greek Freak has been a beast this season for the Milwaukee Bucks as he has led the team to a 40W-39L record which leaves them lying in the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. Antetokounmpo has been the centerpiece to the Bucks success so far this year and has made himself an MVP candidate this year as well as a very strong candidate for the Most Improved Player award.
Antetokounmpo is currently averaging 23.1 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 5.4 apg, 1.9 bpg and 1.7 spg. Giannis has started in all 78 games he’s appeared in for the Bucks this season, mostly as a small forward. Giannis’ 6’11” frame makes him a very versatile player on the court which he has used to his advantage this season.
Giannis has improved his game in every way possible this season and has really turned into an efficient player on the court. Expect to see him come close to winning the Most Improved Player award this year.
1. Harrison Barnes
After leaving the Golden State Warriors in the offseason to make way for former MVP - Kevin Durant, Barnes went and signed a 4-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks started off the season poorly but Barnes fitted in straight away with the squad and slotted into the team as the starting small forward. The Mavericks kicked into gear though around midseason and picked up some wins but they now lie 11th in the Western Conference, with no chance of making the NBA Playoffs this year.
Not all things are dull in Dallas at the moment though because even though we are seeing Dirk Nowitzki’s career coming to an end, the Mavs seem to have a future All-Star in Harrison Barnes who has been great this season, nearly doubling his points per game from last year’s NBA season.
Barnes has been great this season and is a real candidate for the NBA’s MIP award this year.
And there you have it, our Top 5 candidates for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award this year. Each of these players have played very well this year but we’ll just have to wait and see who takes home the award this year. The winner of the award will be announced on a special ‘NBA Awards Show’ this year that will be aired on the 26th of June on TNT.