Nope, Dorell Wright didn’t get a minor in possession. He’s 25 years old, so there’s no way he could even get one at this point. Dorell isn’t a household name, and unless you were a Heat or Warriors fan you still might not know that he even exists. The Warriors acquired him over the offseason for the next three years at a fairly cheap $11M. I had no idea what we got when we signed him, and have been in many a texting frenzies with the blog mates on how awesome he is for many of the Dubs games this year. I thought he was more of a defensive guy since all the reports that I read said that’s all he really was at the time the Warriors acquired him. Somehow, some way, he’s morphed into a knock down shooter (in best Mark Jackson voice). He currently leads the NBA in three pointers made (85), and is making up for the scoring punch to ab offense that lost Morrow, Azubuike, and Maggette this past season. So far this season, Dorell has gone up in every major category making him my hometown bias pick for, the most improved player. As his minutes went from 20 to nearly 39 per game he has doubled up in his averages in every major category. His points have more than doubled (7.1 to 15.7). His rebounds have nearly doubled from (3.3 to 6.2). His assists have more than doubled going from (1.3 to 3.1). His steals have gone up from (0.7 to 1.4). People might knock his field goal % dropping 5 points, but my reasoning for that is he’s taking a ton of threes (averaging 6 per game), which would lower anyone’s percentages a little. With all those threes he’s taking, he is 27th in the league in 3PT percentage, which makes me not care that his FG% overall has taken a little dip. There’s no signs of him slowing down since the W’s have no bench. Another reason to hand the award to Dorell is that he came out of nowhere to relevance this season. All the other guys I’m about to mention were all at least relatively known at the beginning of the year.
I guess there are some other candidates out there, but in my eyes none of them have improved from last season to this season as much as Dorell, but here are some that I think are in the running. Kevin Love is a beast that should be considered for the award, but at the same time we saw some of what he’s doing this year towards the end of last year, so does that really count as improved now that he’s getting the minutes and already showed us that he could do this? I say no, but it’s arguable. Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose are on the same plane in my book. Rose has had an amazing season, and shown that he is indeed fantasy relevant instead of just a good player he has been boosting his stats in nearly every area. Westbrook developed a jumper this summer and is scoring more, but both of these guys were stars already, and I commend them for their improvement, but it just isn’t significant enough of an improvement to earn the MIP award. I’d put Raymond Felton slightly above them, because he is improving tremendously in every category much like Dorell, but being in D’antoni’s system jumpstarted that more than anything. We all knew that Felton was solid, just not this good. An honorable mention for a guy on the radar is Paul Millsap. He started off the first month of the season like he was going to win the award, but has fallen back to earth a little now that Al Jefferson has figured out the Utah offense, and mans the post keeping Paul away from this award. Michael Beasley also made the honorable mention list. He was a bust in Miami, and now is a main cog in Minnesota and hasn’t had any legal troubles thus far. If he keeps it up he should be on the list with his teammate.