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stuart
04-09-2007, 06:28 PM
According to this guy (http://www.contracostatimes.com/warriors/ci_5626395), Biedrins is the NBA's Most-Improved... I don't believe that second-year players should be eligible for these awards so that would eliminate Monta Ellis and Deron Williams for me.

Andris will have a tough time winning, he is such a low-key guy and his play as of the last five games have been spotty, but still he is carrying a 9pt, 9.5 rebound average for a GS team in the run for the last playoff spot, pretty impressive.

Kevin Martin will probably get the award for doubling his point output even though he is playing for a long-eliminated and disappointing Sacramento Kings... and Martin was no longer a secret after last year's NBA playoffs.

We'll see.


Biedrins clearly most improved player
With all the talk about the MVP, another closely contested race isn't getting much attention: the NBA's Most Improved Player Award.

Last season, Phoenix forward Boris Diaw won in a landslide. This year isn't so cut and dried, in large part because the Warriors have two players figuring into the mix.

Guard Monta Ellis and center Andris Biedrins are in a hat with Sacramento's Kevin Martin and Utah's Deron Williams. There are other candidates, such as Boston post Al Jefferson and Charlotte guard Matt Carroll, but Ellis, Biedrins, Martin and Williams are getting the most love.

The problem for the Warriors -- who haven't had an award winner since Gilbert Arenas won Most Improved for 2002-03 -- is that Biedrins and Ellis might split the vote. Ditto for Williams, who might get some votes stolen from Jazz forward Carlos Boozer. That paves the way for Martin, who likely will make every ballot (selected media members get to vote for their top three choices).

But for the sake of Warriors' bias, let's say the race is between Biedrins and Ellis. Which Warrior should get the award? Tough choice, huh?

I say Biedrins, with little hesitation.

Nothing against Ellis, but he was this good last season and he's just getting more playing time now. Indeed, he has gotten better as a point guard and turned his pull-up jumper into a go-to shot. But you knew Ellis was capable of having this type of season.

If you're really looking for the most improved player, Biedrins should win in a landslide.

Unlike the other contenders, Biedrins was not the desired starter at the beginning of this season, and his contribution wasn't expected to be this vital to the team's success. Biedrins is the best rebounder on a poor rebounding team, the best finisher on a squad that has minimal inside presence. Can you imagine where the Warriors would be without him?

Unlike the other contenders, Biedrins has added substantially to his game. The rest of these guys have pretty much gotten more opportunities to do what they do best. What improvements they did make were natural, anticipated growth.

Biedrins has improved dramatically in his ability to create offense (which he displayed when he dunked on Phoenix center Amare Stoudemire on March 29), he's gotten significantly better in avoiding foul trouble and he's improved his free-throw shooting (from 30.6 percent to 52.4 percent).

Biedrins gets his 10.2 points and 9.7 rebounds in 30 minutes (up from 3.8 points and 4.2 rebounds in 14.7 minutes) mostly because his understanding of the game has improved and his skill set has increased. His 24 double-doubles this season, 21 more than he had last season, are evidence that he's gotten better offensively.

Unlike the other contenders, Biedrins' increase in production isn't a byproduct of his playing with other great players. Ellis benefits from playing behind and alongside point guard Baron Davis; Williams has gotten a boost from the career season Boozer is having; and Martin thrives because Ron Artest and Mike Bibby draw most of opponents' attention.

But Biedrins is on an island. He does things no one else on the team can do, which means he has no one to take the pressure off him. He's grabbed 15 or more rebounds in 17 games -- something he didn't do at all last season -- because the Warriors need him to literally dominate the boards. It's also worth noting that Biedrins' rebounds-per-minute average is higher than Kevin Garnett's, Tim Duncan's and Ben Wallace's.

The award, however, doesn't usually go to the most improved player. It goes to the player who blew up the most or the player you hardly heard of who now is putting up great numbers.

That's why Williams, aided by being on the best team of all the candidates, could get the award. He's risen to legitimate star status in just his sophomore season.

That's why Martin might get the nod. He's gone from 10.8 points per game last season to 20.5 this season.

That's why Ellis probably has the best chance of any Warrior. He's gone from an unheralded second-round pick averaging 6.8 points per game last season to an exciting front-line player averaging 16.8 this season. Ellis has scored 20 or more points in 23 games this season (he did so twice last season) and he's totaled six or more assists in 20 games (none last season).

Still, if I had one, Biedrins would get my vote. And it wouldn't be a tough decision. source: Contra Costa Times

rikhardur
04-09-2007, 06:56 PM
I also think that it's a bit of an exaggeration to name him *the* MIP, although he had a terrific season, showing that he indeed is a player to watch in the future. But he has fierce competition, the players mentioned deserve the MIP award more than he does imo.
If he wins it, well that's just fantastic, but somewhat OTT.

BBallfanJ
04-09-2007, 10:18 PM
Don't forget Al Jefferson or Josh Smith.

theblackswans
04-10-2007, 03:04 PM
Andris Biedrins is a nice player but I don't think he is most improved. He has put up some stats but he is terribly inconsistant and also does little to help them win games. The team actually is playing better with Al Harrington starting at center. Also Troy Murphy when he was there started at center and they played well. He seems to have a low Bball IQ as far as fundamentals and the nuances that make a player great. Most of the things that a good to great player has don't show up in stats or a boxscore.

I don't think it's a competion Loul Deng deserves Most Improved Player...

1) he's on a winning team

2) he improved his stats

3) makes his team better

4) improved his offensive game every year

5) high Bball IQ

6) he is a competitor and always plays hard

I don't think J.Smith or A.Jefferson deserve it, there teams suck and they don't do anything to make a team better. Someone has to get stats on suck teams.

Kelly Tripucka bounces around the NBA for 6 years and went to expansion Charlotte Hornets and scored 20+ a game. Someone has to put up numbers...

Look at Mo Williams on the Bucks, Eddy Curry, Zach Randolf etc.