NBA Most Improved: Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry Among Early Favorites

December 7th, 2010 by David Barbour Leave a reply »
A quarter into the NBA season, ten players have emerged as leading candidates for the NBA's Most Improved player award.  When compiling the list, I looked for players who had done more than just increased their points per game average over their last season's average, which is one reason why you will not see Michael Beasley on the list; his 21.8 points per game average, 7.0 per game more than last season, has more to do with his 5.0 extra field goal attempts and 1.6 extra free throw attempts per game than any newfound ability.

Instead, I looked for those players who made sizable leaps in a combination of standard and advanced metrics such as increasing their points per game average while shooting a better percentage from the field and taking on a bigger role in the team's offense, assisting on a much higher percentage of their teammates' field goals while at the same time maintaining or decreasing their turnover rate, or simply putting up better rebounding numbers.

Five of the ten players on the list were on the gold medal-winning 2010 FIBA World Championships USA roster, which allows you to travel down two different paths of thinking.  You can eithe ...

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