Winner- Kevin Love- Minnesota Timberwolves
The 2010 FIBA World Championships was a watershed event for the former UCLA Bruin Kevin Love. Love used the lessons and valuable playing time in Turkey to emerge as one of the top power forwards in the NBA. Prior to this season, Love was an average player who was overlooked by fans and analysts.
Love, an acolyte of the game of basketball, came into the 2010-2011 season a completely new player. Although the Timberwolves have been a debacle for the past several seasons, the jocular Love has fans in Minnesota looking forward to a future of success and prosperity. The seemingly innocuous Love has a knack for achieving double-doubles and he shows great tenacity in the paint. Love currently has 64 double-doubles, including 53 consecutive games with such numbers. A yearly average of 20.3 points per game and 15.4 rebounds per game surely deserves the Most Improved Player Award.
Runner-up- Dorell Wright- Golden State Warriors
Dorell Wright of the Golden State Warriors has surprised the entire league with his breakout season and his uncanny three-point shooting. Wright was previously a member of the Miami Heat, but he saw very little playing time and he could never showcase his talents while backing up Dwayne Wade. However, the Golden State Warriors gave Wright the minutes he deserved and he has been a valuable contributor to the team’s success.
Although the Golden State Warriors will most likely not make the playoffs this season, they will be making plenty of noise in the Western Conference with Dorell Wright in the lineup. In the 2010-2011 season Wright has been averaging 16.6 ppg (nearly nine points higher than last season) and his 38.2 minutes per game average is nearly 18 minutes higher than last season in Miami.
3rd Place- Russell Westbrook- Oklahoma City Thunder
Russell Westbrook has emerged as one of the best point guards in the NBA, and he was named to his first All-Star team in 2011. Westbrook is developing into a serious offensive threat and he is helping the Thunder become a legitimate contender in the Western Conference. However, Westbrook will not win the award due to the major improvements by Wright and Love. Nevertheless, Westbrook’s 22.1 ppg and 8.3 apg are very impressive statistical feats.