Indiana Pacers forward Paul George was named the National Basketball Association’s Most Improved Player after increasing his scoring, rebounding and assists while helping his team to a division title.
George received 52 first-place votes from a panel of sportswriters and finished with 311 of a possible 1,080 points, beating runner-up Greivis Vasquez of the New Orleans Pelicans (formerly the Hornets), who had 13 first-place votes and 146 points, the NBA said in a statement.
George, 22, entered his third NBA season with career averages of 10 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. He averaged 17.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists this season and was named an All-Star as the Pacers went 49-32 to claim the third seed in the Eastern Conference for the playoffs.
Danny Granger was the last Indiana Pacer to win the award, in 2009. Other Pacers named most improved were Jermaine O’Neal in 2002 and Jalen Rose in 2000.
The Milwaukee Bucks’ Larry Sanders finished third in voting this year, fourth-place went to Nikola Vucevic of the Orlando Magic and Jrue Holiday of the Philadelphia 76ers was fifth. All three players received 10 first-place votes.
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