Some players peak early on their careers while others never actually develop their full potential. Others, just a few, are able to improve year after year, putting a lot of work on their strengths and flaws, and that’s what makes them stand out in the league.
People often see just the finished product and not how much players had to grind and sacrifice in the offseason to pull it off. That’s why the league honors those guys by handing out the Most Improved Player award, a recognition to their work ethic and effort.
This year won’t be the exception to that rule, as we have plenty of young studs that went from being non-factors to game-changers, while others went from being pretty good to blossoming as stars. Today, we’re going to talk about them by naming our top-10 candidates for this year’s MIP award:
10. Domantas Sabonis
2018-19 Stats: 14.1 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 2.9 APG, 59% FG
2019-20 Stats: 18.5 PPG, 12.4 RPG, 5.0 APG, 52% FG
The Indiana Pacers traded Paul George mostly to get their hands around Victor Oladipo, who looked like a star in the making ready to break out. Ironically, it was Domantas Sabonis the one to step forward in Oladipo’s absence due to injury, and he just keeps getting better and better.
Sabonis is as efficient as they come in terms of scoring. He’s also made great strides to establish and maintain position as a rebounder, which also comes thanks to the muscle he’s added. More importantly, it seems like he’s inherited some of his fathers’ playmaking and court vision skills, as he’s a great facilitator off the low post.
9. Davis Bertans
2018-19 Stats: 8.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.9 3PG, 45% FG, 42% 3FG
2019-20 Stats: 15.4 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.7 APG, 3.7 3PG, 43% FG, 42% 3FG
Davis Bertans was nothing more than a borderline rotation player. He was there to take a couple of three-pointers per game in some sets and there were nights where he didn’t even play at all. Now, he’s about to get paid a lot of money in the summer.