An award that doesn't get a lot of talk is the "Most improved player award". Yes, many folks are saying Ex-Piston Grant Hill should win "Comeback player of the year" but as is often the case, many folks don't know what they're talking about (this award doesn't exist in the NBA). Sometimes it's a very good player moving up to an elite player or it could be a stiff moving up to a good player. Last year it was Zach Randolph, which was kind of in between. Year before was Gilbert Arenas, same idea. So there isn't really a set way of how to win it.
Let's take a look at some people that I believe should be candidates.

Dwyane Wade
The research surprised me on this one. I remembered that there was such a big deal about him as the season went on last year and yet, his PER was nice 18.32. However, this year it's 24.04 for a jump of 5.72. His PPS is 1.42, up from 1.24. He's playing in 3.72 more minutes a game, yet is averaging 7.9 more PPG (16.2 to 24.1... he's taken 3.9 more shots per game, but this still stands out) and 2.4 more APG (4.5 to 6.9). I suspect the award will go to him.

Amare Stoudemire
This one's pretty obvious. His FG% has jumped from 47.5 last year to 56 this year, he has a 26.85 PER as compared to 20.74 from last year and increase his PPG by 5.2 (from 20.6 to 25.8). Very deserving, though some will pin it as just a side effect of having Nash on the same squad. If it weren't for Wade, he'd probably get it.

Dan Dickau
Not as obvious. His PER jumped 5.38 (10.45 to 15.83), his PPG is almost up by a multiple of six (2.2 to 12.6, but his minutes jumped from 6.8 to 29.1, a factor of 4.28), his APG is almost up by a factor of five (0.9 to 4.8, same minutes jump obviously) and he's actually managed to stick around and play on a roster for a bit. Deserving, but not quite enough.

Joel Przybilla
Wow. PER jumped from 7.5 to 15.99, field goal percentage jumped from 36 to 61 and improved his blocks per game from 1.0 to 2.1 in just 3.4 more minutes a game (20.4 to 23.8). Probably as deserving than Wade or Amare, but hasn't had much of an impact and is on a crappy team (and a guy on his team won it last year). So it probably won't go to him.

So those are four good ones. As I said, I suspect the overly popular Wade wins it, but we'll see.


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