The NBA has announced that Paul George has been honored as the Most Improved Player. This comes two days after George recorded his first career playoff triple-double when he scored 23 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and dished out 12 assists, in the Pacers game 1 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
George won in a landslide, receiving 52 first-place votes, and 311 total points, which doubled the total points of runner up, Greivis Vasquez. Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders finished third.
George averaged 17.4 points and 7.6 rebounds this season, both career highs. He averaged 12.1 points and 5.6 rebounds in 2011-12. He’s the fourth player in franchise history to win the award, joining Jalen Rose, Jermaine O’Neal, and Danny Granger. Ironically, George’s breakout season came at the expense of an injury to Granger, who has not played a single minute this season and is out for the playoffs.
In his third season in the NBA, George has emerged as the Pacer’s primary scoring option, as well as one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. George was named to his first all-star team this season, and also led the Pacers to their first Central division title in nine years.