Most Improved Player Rankings: Week 16

RANKPLAYERRUNDOWNLAST
1MagicNIKOLA VUCEVIC, C, ORLANDO: The leader in the clubhouse with 30 games left. The Magic have had a predictably dreadful season, but Vucevic has been an unexpected bright spot, like Steak-em day in the cafeteria. He’s fourth in rebounding and leads the Magic with a 17.9 PER.1
2PAUL GEORGE, F, INDIANA: It will be interesting to see whether or not he can maintain his alpha-dog status once Granger returns. If the two take the Pacers to the next level, George might have a chance to win. If not, Vucevic, Omer Asik and Greivis Vasquez are the clear frontrunners.2
376ers SixersJRUE HOLIDAY, G, PHILADELPHIA: The first-time All-Star is having a career season: 19 points and 9 assists as opposed to 13.5 and 4.5 last season. He’s clearly a rising star, but the emergence of bench guys like Vucevic and Asik might stunt his chances.3
4RocketsOMER ASIK, C, HOUSTON: The Turkish Terror finds himself in this spot because of his rebounding acumen. He ranks third in the league at 11.5 boards per game and has helped the Rockets remain a legitimate playoff contender.5
5HornetsGREIVIS VASQUEZ, G, NEW ORLEANS:  The Hornets are horrid, but Vasquez has been a shining light. His 13.9 points are up 5 ppg from last season, and he trails Chris Paul by just 0.2 assists for the league lead.4

DROPOUTS: None.

FIVE TO WATCH: Larry Sanders, F, Milwaukee; Jimmy Butler, G, Chicago, Kemba Walker, G, Charlotte; David Lee, F, Golden State; J.J. Hickson, F, Portland.

PREVIOUS RANKINGS: Most Improved | MVP | Rookie | Heisler’s Power Rankings | 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 RoundballDaily.com. Follow him on Twitter @RoundballDaily

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