Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Can a Rookie Win the Most Improved Player Award?

Why not?? If there was any chance of this happening (and I'm going to assume there's no chance of that happening), then Russell Westbrook of the Thunder would be that player. Last night, not only did Westbrook get a triple double, but he beat a playoff bound Dallas team without his two best players (KD and Jeff Green). Check out Westbrook's monthly totals:

November: 12.2 points; 4.1 assists; 3.3 rebounds
December: 15.5 points; 5.1 assists; 5.1 rebounds
January: 16.5 points; 5.5 assists; 4.9 rebounds
February: 20.4 points 5.9 assists; 6.1 rebounds

Tell me, which players who have won the MIP Award have made a bigger improvement statistically than Russell Westbrook from the beginning of the season to now?? PLUS, add to the fact that's he's playing the toughest spot to shine (ask Derrick Rose, who was recently benched for end of games because of his lack of defense and decision making). PLUS, he was never a point guard in his life! He was a shooting guard and they asked him to learn the point position. Need more proof? Check out what ESPN Super Scout David Thorpe has been saying about his progress all season. How bout more? NewsOK made this great point yesterday:

Thunder officials like to point out how Westbrook’s averages of 15.8 points, 5.0 assists and 4.7 rebounds nearly place him among an elite list of players who are averaging at least 15 points, five rebounds and five assists — Miami’s Dwyane Wade, Cleveland’s LeBron James, New Orleans’ Chris Paul, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant and Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala.

So what did Turk do last year that was so special? Last year Hedo increased in points by 6 (check, 8), assists by 1.8 (check, 1.8) and rebounds by 1.77 (check, 2.8!).

Point is, how can anyone argue that Russell Westbrook has not been improving the most from start to finish of this season? MUST we agree with the common understanding of the award and give it to someone who improved in the off-season? I think that's close minded and unfair to Westbrook who has not only improved all year, but might be the perfect definition of how the award should be granted in the future. Yes, we can!!


willie said...

my comeback guy is stuckey,,

yes, he hit a bump in the road recently but lets see what he does with iverson out the next 2 weeks,,

James said...

Westbrook for most improved player. I love you going out on a limb and thinking outside the box, but a rookie can't win this award. Most improved is taken within the context of yearly performance. Last year he was in college, so there is no body of work for comparison. My opinion you have to really give some consideration to Kevin Durant. Every aspect of his game has gotten significantly better. Among the league leaders in PPG and 3-point %. Again, I love you thinking outside the box, but a bit of a stretch. Maybe we should go outside the box to fix this financial quagmire we are currently experiencing!!!!

willie said...

kevin love,, consider what he was doing vs. now,, good comeback kid also..

D.Miz said...

Got Berger to buy into it...