This is perhaps the most difficult award for media members, because every season there are dozens of candidates and almost as many parameters for what constitutes improved.
A case in point came last season, when the media clearly voted for the wrong guy.
Here are my parameters: (1) Playing on a winning team counts for something; (2) per 36-minute averages are more important than per-game averages; and (3) it is much tougher to go from good to very good than from average to good.
You will see that most of the guys listed here fit into the latter parameter. That doesn’t mean I dismiss out-of-nowhere candidates. It just means I factor in their increase in playing time more strongly than most voters.
One other thing: We know this isn’t the second week of the season. We allowed for players to establish (or disqualify) themselves before we began ranking them.
On to the rankings.