Most Improved Player Rankings: Week 11

176ers SixersJRUE HOLIDAY, G, PHILADELPHIA: The Jruth stays at No. 1 after scoring 30, dishing out 9 assists and coming up with 4 steals in a win over the Rockets on Saturday. It’s hard to figure how the Sixers have struggled so mightily despite such steadfast improvement from Holiday and backcourt mate Evan Turner.1
2MagicNIKOLA VUCEVIC, C, ORLANDO: The Vucevator (that’s right) has double-doubles in seven straight games, starting with the infamous 20-29 game on New Year’s Eve. His Per-48 numbers are awesome (17.3 ppg, 16.6 rpg). It’s going to be tough for Holiday to hold him off if he keeps playing this way.3
3HornetsGREIVIS VASQUEZ, G, NEW ORLEANS: Entered Tuesday third in the league at 9.1 assists per game and put up double figures in points and assists in three straight games last week. Vasquez also led the Hornets to four straight wins over Dallas, San Antonio, Houston and Minnesota. So, yeah, he moves up.5
4KnicksJ.R. SMITH, G, NEW YORK: Crashes the rankings after a 12-game run in which he averaged 22 points, including 25 or more six times. Also sharing the ball more, putting up five or more assists six times in that span. But the biggest jump in his game may be on defense, where this season he actually gives a crap.
5WarriorsSTEPHEN CURRY, G, GOLDEN STATE: Held off Kemba Walker for this spot this week after hanging 29 and 7 on the Nuggets. Averaging 23 points over his last 11 games, scoring 20 or more nine times in that span. The Warriors are a much better team this season, and Curry’s maturation is the biggest reason why.

DROPOUTS: Omer Asik, C, Houston (2).

FIVE TO WATCH: Kemba Walker, G, Charlotte; Serge Ibaka, F, Oklahoma City; Larry Sanders, F, Milwaukee; George Hill, G, Indiana; Omer Asik, C, Houston.

PREVIOUS RANKINGS: Most Improved | MVP | Rookie | Power | Sixth Man

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. Magicfan says

    Nikola’s put up about 13.2 rebounds to go along with 12.8 points on over 54% from the field in nearly 35 minutes per game while dishing out almost as many assists as turnovers since the beginning of December.

  2. stepxxxxz says

    Yeah, this seems close to right. I think maybe Larry Sanders still needs to stay on, but its hard to knock any of these guys off. In a sense David lee is vastly improved, but he was good already, its just he is totaly new guy on defense. And defense doesnt really show up on stat sheets. I wonder if there isnt a case to made for Kenneth Faried, too. He has improved in all phases of the game, especially defense. I might get rid of JR Smith, who is still a guy not to be counted on in the clutch, and put in Sanders. Otherwise, great list.

    • says

      “Close to right?” I’ll take it! The one thing I will say…JR has hit two game-winners this year, so how is he not reliable in the clutch? I like Larry Sanders, but just couldn’t get him into the Top 5. You’re right, defense is harder to take into account, but I’ve still been trying to do so. Faried is another good suggestion, but not quite enough statistically (12 and 10 vs 10 and 8 last year). Keep the suggestions coming though. I like it.

    • stepxxxxz says

      wish Id remembered Davis. Very true, he’s playing the way everyone thought he would when he came into the league.

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