Phoenix Suns point guard Goran Dragic, once [presumably] hailed as Steve Nash’s heir-apparent, made great strides this year, leading his team to 48-34 record—a 23-game improvement from 2012-13, just missing the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. His play was markedly better, improving his scoring from a career average of 9.5 points to 20.3 this year. That’s an impressive amount of growth. His play earned him the NBA Most Improved Player Award. Our own Chris Sheridan broke down Dragic’s performance and
NEW YORK - Phoenix’s Goran Dragic, who helped lead the Suns to a 23-win improvement while establishing career highs in scoring and field goal percentage, is the winner of the 2013-14 Kia NBA Most Improved Player Award, the NBA announced today. Dragic received 408 of a possible 1,134 points, including 65 first-place votes, from a panel of 126 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Lance Stephenson of the Indiana Pacers (158 points, 13 first-place votes) and Anthony Davis of
In a break with tradition, I am casting my NBA awards ballot after the 81st game, not the 82nd. It’s a rarity, but this season I will not hem and haw and sleep on it until the afternoon after the final day of the season. You’re welcome. I have been an official NBA postseason awards voter for nearly a decade, and it would have been longer if not for a rule at the Associated Press, where I worked from 1987-2005, forbidding
This is a tough column to write. It’s the last edition of the Most Improved Player Rankings, and like John Boehner at an eighth grade science fair, I’m about to lose it. I uhh…I just want to tell you all how much you mean to me. (Voice cracks) It’s been another incredible year in this column space. We’ve talked about Ike Manfresca, the Oscars, Seinfeld, the genetic connection between twins, existentialism, John Lennon, Mars Blackmon, and un-seeing the Eastern Conference standings. We even compared every candidate to a character in
Transparency is a two-way street. For years, NBA media members – echoing the sentiments of its passionate fan base – wanted more transparency from Commissioner David Stern and his executive staff. Whether it was a lottery drawing, a suspension in the playoffs or a referee scandal, folks felt like they were entitled to an explanation. And they were. Stern grudgingly came around. He arranged for the media to meet with referees prior to the season about rules changes. He allowed the media
Monday night. 10 p.m. Eastern. Memphis Grizzlies. Phoenix Suns. Only one of them can make the playoffs. The Grizzlies will be coming off a game the previous night against the Lakers. If they win that game, they’re a game up on the Suns. If they lose, the two teams are tied. Phoenix has to be praying the Lakers get the win, because they’ve lost all three games against the Grizzlies this season, and they need to claim the eighth spot
With one week left in the NBA regular season, the pressure is on for two Eastern Conference teams and four Western Conference teams fighting for the final playoff spots. Millions will intently watch what transpires over the next seven days as teams face must-win games, and the effort and intensity pick up. Each of these half-dozen teams have a player who will greatly impact the fate of their clubs the rest of the way.
In these rankings, much like in life, you’ve got to be lucky to win. You can be the same exact person, with the same skill set and attitude, but if that ball doesn’t bounce the right way, you don’t get the recognition you deserve. Take UConn coach Kevin Ollie. If 7-foot freshman center Amida Brimah, who hasn’t played more than four seasons of organized basketball in his life, doesn’t complete a ridiculous three-point play with less than 25 seconds left in the first