Challenge: Who will win the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award for the 2012-2013 season?
Last year, Orlando Magic forward, now New Orleans Hornets forward, Ryan Anderson, won the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award with a stat line of 16.1 PPG and 7.7 RPG. Next season, the player that will win the MIP will be Ersan Ilyasova. Why? Well, I’ll tell you right now. Last season, Ilyasova lost to Anderson in the 2011-12 MIP voting by 12 first place votes. Although Anderson had a higher PPG average, Ilyasova had a higher RPG average at 8.8 RPG while Anderson had a 5.5 RPG. Ilyasova and Anderson’s stats are somewhat correlative to each other, but Ilyasova’s stats from last season are setting a segue for his MIP season.
Ilyasova’s breakout season was last year, the same season when Andrew Bogut was shipped to the Warriors mid-season for Monta Ellis. Drew Gooden, the second center in command, took over at the center spot. Gooden is 6-10, which for the center position, is very undersized in an era where center size eclipses center size from back then, hence the Bucks undersized roster. Ilyasova, a 6-9 forward, took advantage of the forward position and his stats prove that he took advantage of the position.
With the help of Basketball-Reference, (I use it almost everyday because it’s literally one of the best websites in the world) I checked out Ilyasova’s stats from last year. In 60 games, (41 games started) Ilyasova averaged 13 PPG flat and 8.8 RPG along with an outstanding .455 3P%, which was second in the league only behind Steve Novak for first in the category, a 20.5 PER (player efficiency rating), which is all-star quality, and a .185 WS/48 (Win Shares per 48 Minutes). Ilyasova lead the Bucks in 6 advanced statistical categories, WS , DWS, OWS, WS/48, TRB% (total rebound percentage), and finally, Ortg (offensive rating). That’s pretty outstanding if you ask me.
Quite frankly, I thought Ilyasova should of won the MIP last year, but like I said in the first paragraph, he’s setting a segway for his MIP award-winning season. He might even get to 2010-11 Kevin Love MIP levels next year, especially in rebounding categories. Ersan Ilyasova for 2012-13 MIP.