goran dragic suns 2014

So a few days ago, the "Dragon" Goran Dragic won the NBA's 2014 Most Improved Player award after having a great season on the back of this year's almost-Cinderella story in the Phoenix Suns. But the question I came to ask seems to not be being asked that much is that did Dragic really deserve it?

Personally, I felt like he had an underrated year last year but was on a terrible Suns team. However, he was still putting up good numbers. With that said, let's look if any of the other contenders should be left bitter or if they should be in acceptance of their positioning.

Goran Dragic

pi-nba-suns-goran-dragic-013114So lets compare the two seasons for the winner of the award:

2012-2013: 14.7 points 7.4 assists 2.8 turnovers 1.6 steals 3.1 rebounds 44.3% FG, 32% 3PT, 17.5 PER

2013-14: 20.3 PPG, 5.9 APG, 2.8 TPG, 1.4 SPG, 3.2 RPG, 50.5% FG, 40.8% 3PT, 21.4 PER

So as you can see, he improved his efficiency drastically and because of this his points went up. But at the same time notably, his assists went down (partly due to Eric Bledsoe being another ball handler joining the team) whilst still averaging the same turnovers though.

So it was an obvious improvement, but was it worthy of the Most Improved Player?

Gerald Green

hi-res-460657579-gerald-green-of-the-phoenix-suns-dunks-against-the_crop_northGoran Dragic's teammate in Green had a solid case for this after having a terrific season, so let's take a look at his numbers:

2012-2013: 7 PPG, 0.8 APG, 2.4 RPG, 0.3 SPG, 36.6% FG, 31.4% 3PT, 9.9 PER

2013-2014: 15.8 PPG, 1.5 APG, 3.4 RPG, 0.9 SPG, 44.5% FG, 40% 3PT, 16.6 PER

As you can see, Gerald Green had an insane improvement and it's not even because he got more minutes, his percentages went up and was more efficient in his time.

Having significant statistical improvement is crazy, as Green went from being a traveller having played for numerous teams for parts of seasons. It now looks like he has found a home in Phoenix.

Lance Stephenson

lance stephenson march 2014Lance Stephenson was considered the frontrunner for this most of the season because in large of how well the Indiana Pacers were doing. But then after a disappointing post-All Star break run from the Pacers and Stephenson (his stats were declining every month after the All-Star Game), he fell out of favor with a lot of the voters.

Here's a look at his stats:

2012-2013: 8.8 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1 SPG, 46% FG, 33% 3PT, 11.8 PER

2013-2014: 13.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 4.6 APG, 0.7 SPG, 49.1 FG%, 35.2% 3PT, 14.7 PER

Lance's stats all take an increase, especially with his rebounding. Lance would of been looking at a much better season if he played like he was before the All-Star break, but (like all of the pacers) he couldn't and simply ended the season on the decline.

Anthony Davis

anthony davis february 2014Anthony Davis, like Goran Dragic, took that next step to becoming one of the All-Star caliber players and this is why they are both considered for this award.

Here is the New Orleans Pelicans big man's stats:

2012-2013: 13.5 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 1 APG, 1.2 SPG, 1.3 BPG, 51.6% FG, 21.7 PER

2013-2014: 20.8 PPG, 10 RPG, 1.6 APG, 1.3 SPG, 2.8 BPG, 51.9% FG, 26.7 PER

Davis was one of four players who ended the year averaging over 20 points and 10 rebounds and led the league in blocks per game.

Although I feel similar to Davis like how I feel about Dragic is that they obviously improved, but was the improvement as good as someone like Gerald Green, who improved every stat by almost double the numbers? 


gerald green dunk january 2014In conclusion, I feel like the award should of gone to Gerald Green, who simply had an outstanding year proving multiple people wrong and is probably the most underrated player on this Suns team (maybe behind Plumlee) and has had an insane improvement in most stats.

Also, the other three players mentioned all had good seasons last season unlike Green.

Dragic had a very solid year this season. He obviously improved, but I feel like he got the award because of how well Phoenix did unlike how everyone predicted and the fact he got snubbed from the All-Star Game.


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