Although the Orlando Magic may have taken a hit this season losing Dwight Howard for the rest of the year after the soap opera during the season with the center deciding to comeback to possibly play for the Magic next year, there was one player on the team that really stepped up his game. Ryan Anderson‘s effort all season long earned him the 2012 Kia Most Improved Player Award.
Anderson becomes the second Magic player in the past five seasons to win the Most Improved Player Award as teammate Hedo Turkoglu won the award in 2007-08. Anderson received 33 first places votes, 27 second place votes and 14 third place votes racking up a total of 260 points to win the award. The panel of voters included 121 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada.
This season, Anderson made career marks in points per game (16.1), rebounds per game (7.7), field goal percentage (.439), three-pointers made (166) and three-pointers attempted (422). It is unbelievable how he came from averaging 5.5 points per game last season to set a career-high this season. Anderson deserves the award for sure.
He was able to beat out several players all possibly deserving of the award. Ersan Ilyasova of the Milwaukee Bucks finished with 21 first place votes but only 159 points, Nikola Pekovic of the Minnesota Timberwolves received 10 first place votes but only gained 104 votes, Greg Monroe of the Detroit Pistons finished up the top 4 in voting behind Pekovic while Andrew Bynum of the Los Angeles Lakers picked up the pace behind Monroe.