Sheridan Hoops Most Improved Player Rankings



1 Mavericks O.J. MAYO, G, DALLAS: He has been shooting so well (60 percent on 3s), he has been hanging around in the MVP rankings ’round here. Can’t expect him to stay ahead of Kobe Bryant over there, can we? Without him (as the Mavs wait for Dirk Nowitzki to come back from knee surgery), the Mavs could have been Wizard material. But the guy who everyone always said could be a terrific featured scorer has kept Dallas afloat. -
2 Knicks J.R. SMITH, G, NEW YORK: Wanted to be a starter. Wasn’t happy when Mike Woodson said no. Do he pout? Hell, no. He’s playing starter’s minutes (33.8) and shooting at a 60 percent clip from 3-point range. Reason why he isn’t No. 1: I’ve been watching closely, and Ray Felton and Jason Kidd have been hitting more clutch shots. Hasn’t been an indispensable as Mayo. I give him props for admitting he needed to curb the NY nightlife after his first season with Knicks. -
3 76ers Sixers JRUE HOLIDAY, G, SIXERS: While the Andrew Bynum drama takes every twist and turn imaginable (did he model his hair after a bowling ball?), the rest of these Sixers are playing well without him in what might be the NBA’s toughest division. Holiday’s scoring has gone from 12.2 to 18.4 (nobody on this team averaged 15 last season), and his assists are up from 5.2 to 8.6. Now you understand better why Lou Williams was expendable. -
4 LARRY SANDERS, C, MILWAUKEE: If you asked any Bucks fan over the summer who they expected to see at center, they’d have said one of the new guys — Samuel Dalembert or Joel Przybilla. Instead, they’ve gotten this energy machine who is shooting 60 percent and has more than doubled his career point and rebound averages. Made a key steal late Monday in loss to Bobcats, but Monta Ellis missed ensuing shot for the win. -
5 Rockets OMER ASIK, C, HOUSTON: .He has been behaving poorly in the diplomacy department, as chronicled here, but there is a reason why the Rockets were willing to throw all that backloaded cash at him. He makes giant strides from year to year, he is gaining confidence and he is a rebounding machine (12.3), 3rd in league. No word yet on whether Jeremy Lin has crashed on his couch, with is covered with very nice rug, very nice price. (Anybody who has been to Turkey will get that one). -

FIVE TO WATCH: Al-Farouq Aminu, F, New Orleans; E’Twaun Moore, G, Orlando; Kevin Seraphin, F-C, Washington; Greivis Vasquez, G, New Orleans; Kemba Walker, G, Charlotte.


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  1. john steppling says:

    Sanders for sure, and yet Skiles sits him at any opportunity. Sanders has to be frustrated. But then everyone is sick of Skiles. Cant with with Skiles, thats a lock. Id add Marc Gasol actually, who really has elevated his game. Lance Stephenson too. Batum, DeAndre jordan, Enis Kanter, DeRozan even …..but the team sucks, which is a shame, as i thought they would be good. Aundray Blatch gets my vote for number on though.

    • John, Thanks for reading. This category always has plenty of candidates. Agree on most of your guys but can’t get on board with Blatche because he has shown what he is capable of when he is on his game. Now if there was a “Back from the Dead” award, he would be No.1. Have a good holiday. CB

  2. DeAndre Jordan has been a beast. Yes, you read that right. DeANDRE JORDAN has been a BEAST.

    Also, if you look at the Clippers wins, almost invariably they can be in large part traced to Eric Bledsoe absolutely destroying the other teams bench guards and single handedly taking the backup PG out of the game offensively.

    • Last night in San Antonio, he beat the Spurs with “Spurs” plays down the stretch – follow shots after misses, a big steal, knocking down FTs. Up to the moment, and execution. I love the guy. It’s so obvious why they willingly surrendered Gordon but held onto him.

  3. With the money he is making, he is a candidate for Most Fairly Compensated Players. He was already a stud, just wasn’t used correctly under Nate, IMO.

  4. What do you think about Nic Batum? He got his first contract so didn’t exactly come out no where, but he has been a top ten player in the league so far.

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