The award for KIA NBA Most Improved player was handed out some time ago (April 23 2014 to be exact) but looking back I feel that Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin was robbed of the Most Improved Player trophy. The award was voted on by 126 sportswriters and broadcasters, and was awarded to Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns. Dragic received 65 first place votes opposed to Griffin’s 6, but I feel the voters that did not select Griffin overlooked how much he progressed as not only a player but also as a star and leader of the Clippers.
Dragic played outstanding for the improved Suns team but the team once again fell short of making the playoffs. Dragic stats in recent years are nearly exactly the same, except in one category, points. Dragic played in fewer games than he did the year before. The Suns were improved but in the end they are still not good enough to do any damage in the NBA with or without Dragic.
Griffin went from being the second best player on the Clippers that struggled in times to play consistently especially in the fourth quarter. Griffin improved his points per game (on a far more talented roster than the Suns). Griffin also improved his free throw shooting, helping his team to keep him in close games. Griffin led the Clippers this season, while Chris Paul battled injuries, and even when Paul was in the game he was the best player for the Clippers. Essentially Griffin became a legit top star player after being a good not great second option the year before. The Clippers made the playoffs and improved from the season prior. Griffin was the best player in the first round of the playoffs for the Clippers against the Golden State Warriors.
The NBA Most Improved player should go to the player that made strides to becoming a far better player. The 6 writers and broadcasters (Bill Worrell: ComcastSportsNet Houston, Bob Fitzgerald: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Jeff Zillget: USA Today, Kevin Ding: Bleacher Report, Mitch Lawrence: New York Daily News and Walt Frazier: MSG Network) that voted for Griffin as Most Improved Player should be celebrated for doing their homework and voting for the right guy. The right player does not always win the award, as in this case.