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Pacers’ Paul George wins Most Improved Player Award

Apr 23, 2013, 10:14 AM EDT

Paul George AP

Paul George made a leap this season and people noticed.

With Danny Granger basically lost for the year due to knee issues, George took on a larger scoring role with the Pacers — he used 23.5 percent of their possessions when on the court — averaging 17.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.

That won the third-year player the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award.

“He left the season last year saying ‘Coach, I’m going to work harder than I ever have this summer and come back a completely different player. Just wait and see you’ll be so impressed.” And I have been impressed,” coach Frank Vogel said. “But what impresses me the most about Paul is his commitment to playing team basketball. Winning basketball.”

George is a force at both ends — the Pacers had the best defense in the NBA this season not because of the scheme (they run pretty standard stuff) but because they have strong defenders on the wings and Roy Hibbert in the paint as a backstop. George can be a lockdown guy on one end and run the offense on the other end.

This is a deserved award.

George got 52 of the 120 first place votes and finished well ahead in the voting. Second place went to the Hornets Greivis Vasquez, third place was Larry Sanders of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Among the more interesting votes was Jeff Teague in Atlanta, Joakim Noah of the Bulls and even Earl Clark of the Lakers.

  1. tomasekradek - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    not even any mention about Nik Vucevic?

    • dexterismyhero - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:43 AM

      Jeff Teague???

      • money2long - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:22 PM

        a few people i would give the nod to before teague: asik, sanders, vasquez.
        teague is still in the convo though.

  2. Laying The Blog Down - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    Reblogged this on layingtheblogdown.

  3. unxpexted1 - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Why did Joakim Noah get a vote?

    Anyway, much deserved. Time to hand the reigns over to Paul George who is a superstar caliber player in the making. May want to look at getting rid of granger. They dont play as well together.

    • money2long - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:20 PM

      pretty hard to have a definitive gauge on how well they play together when granger hasn’t really been himself.

      • unxpexted1 - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:14 PM

        i just dont like the dynamic when they are in at the same time because they move george to the 2 and granger at the 3. I think the team works better with George playing his natural 2 position.

      • unxpexted1 - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        natural 3*

      • money2long - Apr 23, 2013 at 4:50 PM

        if you trade granger, i say get younger. but what position do they fill with it? hibbert, and paul george would be locked into the 3 and 5. if they keep rolling with george hill, he’ll be the one. i’m kinda liking what i see from lance at the 2. i notice he knows how to get some steals and occasionally has those big scoring nights. plus he knows how to pass a bit. i think vogel has him playing some 1 when he’s not at the 2.

        so that leave the power forward position. do they keep west? or get younger? or just look for a bench. i wonder what they could get for a danny granger-david west package…..demarcus cousins? ha, don’t think so. but there could be something juicy out there if they did.

  4. sdb74 - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Paul George is a beast. He has a total all around game offensively & defensively. Kid is going to be a superstar.

  5. bucrightoff - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Yeah how Vucevic gets zero votes while Earl Clark (who had what, a 2 week stretch of good play?) speaks to the meaninglessness of these awards.

  6. 00maltliquor - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:57 PM


    • erckle31 - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      Are the Hornets in the playoffs?

      • erckle31 - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:05 PM


      • Kurt Helin - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:06 PM


    • bucrightoff - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      So to win this award you need to be a playoff team? So if theoritically player A goes from a slash line of 6/2/4 to 17/5/7, but his team missed the playoffs, he must automatically lose to player B, who went from 12/3/5 to 16/4/6, because player B went to the playoffs?

      • erckle31 - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:00 PM

        In all seriousness I do agree with your point, Vasquez deserves it more. PG’s from my hometown so I like to root for him. But I loved watching Vasquez play this year, definitely didn’t see him putting up numbers like that. Dude’s a baller.

  7. 00maltliquor - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Doesn’t even deserve to be it the top 5!

    1) Grievis Vazquez
    2) Nikola Vucevic
    3) J.J. Hickson
    4) Larry Sanders
    5) James Harden

    Let’s be honest….who DIDN’T expect Paul George to put up those #s, ESPECIALLY with Danny Granger out and George playing his natural position!!?? His #s LY vs. TY are pretty much the same, with an extra 5 pts, 2 reb.

    And where the heck is Nik Vucevic name at???? Do these pundits even pay attention to NBA basketball??

  8. 00maltliquor - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    1) Grievis Vazquez
    2) Nikola Vucevic
    3) J.J. Hickson
    4) Larry Sanders
    5) James Harden

    Paul George doesn’t even crack top 5! Horrible selection.

    • sportsnut101 - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      Paul made allstar team. So he deserves top 5.

      I woulda went with harden. He was bench player last yr. to star n playoffs in west which is tougher then the weak east

    • gostlcards5 - Apr 23, 2013 at 5:21 PM

      Disagree that it’s not deserved….if you watched any Indiana games last year/this year, you can tell the difference in PG’s presence on the court, not just by his improvement in numbers. With no D. Granger all year, this team would not have been #2 in the EC for most of the year without PG. As he continues to improve, he will be a superstar in the league (pending health, of course).

      I could agree with Vazquez and Harden being in the conversation, and maybe Vucevic (but I have not seen him play much).

      • 00maltliquor - Apr 23, 2013 at 6:09 PM

        Yes paul George has been wonderful for IND this year, no disputing that. But what did you expect his #s to look like with Danny Granger out all year, while moving into his natural SF position?

        He averages an extra 5 pts. and 2 reb. more (once again, to be expected while Granger has been out, and playing SF). The rest of his #’s are right on par with last year. No real improvement other then he went from #2-3 option to #1 and is playing in his right position.

        There were others (see list above) who were way more deserving. And if they wanted to go that route with a player whose #’s jumped up in a “well, no-duh” fashion, James Harden went from 6th man to Franchise player taking a hopeless team to the playoffs while jumping his #s up from 16.8 to 25.9 (Paul George 12 to 17), shoulda went with him.

  9. Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Much deserved.

  10. biasedhomer - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Missing Harden, Holiday, and Vucevic.


  11. 13arod - Apr 23, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    thank you tomasekradek someone agrees with me for once about this guy

  12. halfbaht - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:32 AM

    Anyone who says this isn’t deserved is out of their minds. George had great improvements in his stats over the season. His point average went up by 5.3 points a game (12.1 to 17.4) rebounds up 2 per game (5.6 to 7.6) assists nearly doubled (2.4 to 4.1) and he got 23 double-doubles compared to 2 last season. Paul George is a beast and thoroughly deserves this award

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