Most Improved Player Rankings: Week Nine

176ers SixersJRUE HOLIDAY, G, PHILADELPHIA: It’s going to be tough to knock “The Jruth” out of the top spot if he keeps playing like this. Holiday scored 29, with 9 assists and 9 rebounds in Saturday’s loss at Portland. He’s shooting a career-high 45 percent and averaging 9 assists. I’m just going to say it: He should be an All-Star.1
2WarriorsSTEPHEN CURRY, G, GOLDEN STATE: A vote for Steph is really a vote for the 21-10 Warriors, who are the clear-cut choice for Most Improved Team. Curry went off for 22 points and 9 assists against Boston on Saturday. He’s averaging 20 points and 6.5 assists, and Golden State has won three straight.2
3RocketsOMER ASIK, C, HOUSTON: It’s true that when a big man improves his game, more people tend to take notice. The Turkish sensation scored 11 points and grabbed 17 rebounds Monday. He’s quickly becoming a legitimate inside threat for the Rockets, and just may be the best Turkish import since Bald Bull. (That was a Punch Out! reference, for you kids out there).4
4ANDERSON VAREJAO, C, CLEVELAND: There is growing concern in Cleveland that Varejao may end up being one of those guys who just can’t stay out of the trainers’ room. He hasn’t played in two weeks and is coming off of two seasons where he played a combined 56 games. Still, his numbers (14.1 ppg, 14.4 rpg) warrant keeping this spot warm for him.3
5RocketsCHANDLER PARSONS, F, HOUSTON: He looks like he belongs at an Asher Roth concert instead of here. Still, Parsons is having such a good season, he wishes he had taped it. He is averaging 15 points, 3.7 assists and 6.3 rebounds, and has even improved his free throw shooting from 55 to 71 percent.

DROPOUTS: Larry Sanders, F, Milwaukee (5).

FIVE TO WATCH: Serge Ibaka, F, Oklahoma City; Nikola Vucevic, C, Orlando; Evan Turner, G-F, Philadelphia; George Hill, G, Indiana; J.R. Smith, G, New York.

PREVIOUS RANKINGS: Most Improved | MVP | Rookie | Power

Kels Dayton is a freelance writer whose work has also appeared in SLAM Magazine. You can check out more of his work at Follow him on Twitter @RoundballDaily


  1. Rick says

    Holiday leads the NBA in turnovers and had 8 in their loss 2 games ago. Sanders should get it. Best defensive improvement the NBA has seen in a long time. Even more impressive given the fact that he didn’t play basketball until his junior year in high school

  2. john steppling says

    how does larry sanders drop out????????? He had one of his best games of the year. I think he has to place ahead of asik right now to be honest. And parsons was ok, not great. Curry for sure, JaRue for sure, Varejao is hurt…so shouldnt be there …… and Id have Kemba up there again. Small hon mention for lance stephenson, too.And…..a case can be made for david lee. He is playing DEFENSE. He is really is a much better player this year.

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