The NBA hands out many awards during the playoffs each season. One of the awards that might get the least publicity is the Most Improved Player of the Year. The winner is voted on by a select group of sportswriters from Canada and the United States.
My vote for the Most Improved Player of the Year is New Orleans Hornets point guard Greivis Vasquez. He has been the most valuable player on the Hornets. He sets the table for players like Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson and he is charge of making sure rookies Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers get their touches.
Vasquez came into the league from the University of Maryland where he finished second on the school’s all-time scoring list. He was recognized as a shoot first point with the killer mentality that won many games in the last seconds for the Terrapins. He won the Bob Cousy Award as the best point guard in the nation. The kid from Venezuela made a name for himself but questions arose on whether his game could translate into the NBA.
The Hornets have been a lousy team for a couple of years and it has taken that time for Vasquez to find his way. Last season he played twenty-five minutes per game averaging nine points, three rebounds and five assists. This year both Jarrett Jack and Marco Belinelli are not with the team. Rivers hasn’t emerged as many thought he would. Vasquez has been given the ball and control of the team. He plays thirty-four minutes per game and averages fourteen points, five rebounds and almost ten assists every night.
Most importantly he is the leader of the team and he has gained coach Monty Williams’ trust. Vasquez is the most improved player in the league. He has earned his playing time and will earn all the accolades he gets. He only has one year left at a little over two million dollars. When he does win the award he will be due for a large pay increase.
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