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Phoenix’s Goran Dragic runs away with Most Improved Player

Apr 23, 2014, 12:05 PM EDT

Goran Dragic, Anthony Davis Goran Dragic, Anthony Davis

There were a lot of different directions voters could go with the Most Improved player award. Blake Griffin raised his game from “freak athlete” to “elite power forward” if you want to go that route. Guys like Gerald Green in Phoenix finally had his game mature and he flourished in Phoenix. There were a whole lot of other options.

But the one thing everyone seemed to agree on is Goran Dragic should be on the list.

The Phoenix point guard ran away with the Most Improved Player award. He easily outdistanced second place Lance Stephenson of Indiana and third place’s Anthony Davis of New Orleans in the voting.

For his career Dragic averaged 9.5 points a game and there were questions about how he would blend with Eric Bledsoe in the backcourt.

The answer was very well — those two were a force together that propelled Phoenix to 48 wins (which left them a game out of the playoffs in the Western Conference, but would have been tied for third best in the East).

Dragic finished the season averaging a career-best 20.3 points per game, plus averaged 5.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds a night.

Dragic becomes the third Suns player to win the award, joining Kevin Johnson (1988-89) and Boris Diaw (2005-06).

While I think you can make a good case for a lot of guys to get votes, there were some interesting choices out there from the 125 media members who voted for the award. LeBron James did improve parts of his game, but was he really the second most improved? Robin Lopez? Sean Livingston might have won this award if it was still the “comeback player of the year” but he’s doing what he’s done for a couple years, just on a bigger stage. Mike Conley has been very good for a couple years.

Here is a voting breakdown. The media member votes are public so if you want to see who voted for whom follow this link.

Player (team) total points (first place votes, if any)

Goran Dragic (Phoenix) 408 (65)
Lance Stephenson (Indiana) 158 (13)
Anthony Davis (New Orleans) 155 (16)
Gerald Green (Phoenix) 117 (16)
DeAndre Jordan (L.A. Clippers) 66 (4)
Kyle Lowry (Toronto) 43 (2)
Blake Griffin (L.A. Clippers) 39 (6)
DeMar DeRozan (Toronto) 28 (1)
Patty Mills (San Antonio) 14
Markieff Morris (Phoenix) 13 (1)
Isaiah Thomas (Sacramento) 13
Shaun Livingston (Brooklyn) 11
D.J. Augustin (Chicago) 9 (1)
Reggie Jackson (Oklahoma City) 8
Robin Lopez (Portland) 6
Klay Thompson (Golden Stat2) 6
DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento) 5
Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City) 5 (1)
Al Jefferson (Charlotte) 4
Bradley Beal (Washington) 3
Mike Conley (Memphis) 3
Andre Drummond (Detroit) 3
Taj Gibson (Chicago) 3
LeBron James (Miami) 3
Terrence Jones (Houston) 3
Jodie Meeks (L.A. Lakers) 3
LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland) 1
Alec Burks (Utah) 1
Paul Millsap (Atlanta) 1
Chandler Parsons (Houston) 1
John Wall (Washington) 1

  1. lj312chicago - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    Talk about a big ballot….that’s what she said

  2. gameisours - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    Well deserved.

  3. timb12 - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    Good. I like Dragic. I still wish the rockets would have tried to keep him instead of signing Lin.

    • gepsep - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      It would have been nice but he wouldn not have been a birderline allstar if he stayed with the Rockets. He would have been just a scorer off the bench while he can be so much more. And we see it now….

  4. bobmcbigballs - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    Good to see Goran get this one.

    Where is the link to the votes?

  5. flyrocket31 - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    who voted for Lebron and Durant? really?

    • bougin89 - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      I was thinking the same thing. Both have had crazy good seasons and I think you can legitimately say this has been Durant’s best regular season I don’t think you would say the same thing about Lebron’s regular season mainly because the Heat have been on auto pilot.

    • nadoinspincity - Apr 23, 2014 at 7:40 PM

      Mike Smith voted for Kevin Durant-Lebron James-Blake Griffin as his MIP. Most likely switched his MIP with MVP.

  6. thenew013 - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    the complete lopsidedness of the east and west is ridiculous. If my league was that unbalanced I would have the top 16 teams make the playoffs regardless of conference. Kind of besides the point but a lot of good teams missed out and too many crappy teams got in.

  7. borisalessandri - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    Still wonder how good a backup he would’ve been behind Tony Parker for 3yrs if PATFO wouldn’t have traded him for Malik Hairston #WinSome #LoseSome

    • spursareold - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:12 PM

      Udrih 2.0, tbh.

  8. officialhintz - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    Actually if you took the top 16, only the hawks and suns would swap. Wouldn’t help a thing.

    • longtallsam - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:23 PM

      Are you sure that is right?

  9. duhwighthoward - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    As a Lakers fan I bemoan the fact that they traded for the wrong Suns guard.

    Dragic is the best point guard in the NBA, hands down.

    I’d also like to take this opportunity to announce my retirement from trolling probasketballtak.

  10. reastnt - Apr 23, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    The link is here, for all the NBA awards: http://www.nba.com/official/

  11. nadoinspincity - Apr 23, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    Mike Smith accidentally had his MVP ballot switched with his MIP ballot. He had Kevin Durant-Lebron James-Blake Griffin for his MIP, so it will be interesting to see who is getting his MVP votes. Lance Stephenson for MVP…

  12. maximusprime107 - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    The fact that Kenneth Faried didn’t get one vote is stupid. He tore it up the last 2-3 months of the season

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