February 26, 2014 by Ell and Mike Sports
Most Improved Player
Ell – PG/SG Goran Dragic
Dragic has really turned the Suns into a legitimate playoff contender as he has posted a career high in points and rebounds with increased shooting percentages across the board as well. Dragic has really benefited from the addition of new Head Coach Jeff Hornacek who was a player of Dragic’s skill size, athleticism, and build who could really coach him into being a better player. Dragic is averaging 20.3ppg, 3.5rpg, and 6.2apg while shooting 41% from 3pt and 50% from the field as the focal point of the offense. Dragic formed a solid duo with PG Eric Bledsoe, but has taken over the PG duties since Bledsoe’s injury and he hasn’t missed a beat. He scored a career high 35pts against the Rockets with 3 assists and 3 steals on the game showing his commitment on the defensive end as well. Dragic has really blossomed into a player most people never expected, but he is the reason this team is in the playoff hunt and the reason why they should make the playoffs. His consistency is the reason why I picked him over the rest.
Honorable Mention: SG Demarr Derozan/PG Kyle Lowry, SG Lance Stephenson
Stephenson has really taken the next step of growth that this team needed from him as he has gotten better as a scorer, distributor, and rebounder who can help them win with or without the ball in his hands. In addition, he has made fewer mistakes this year and has really learned to use his strength to his advantage to back guards down and make strong drives to basket. His growth has been good to watch as he is on a good team, but he has not carried his team like Dragic.
Derozan has been an absolute beast at times since the trade of SF Rudy Gay, but his consistency to score has not been there. However, I expect more big games from him as the season continues and maybe he will finally begin to dominate.
Lowry is another Raptors player who has put up big numbers inconsistently, but has really shown all his talents on a team with no star. However, he is in a contract year and this shows signs of a player who wants to get paid, playing his hardest.