Houston Rockets Most Improved: How Christian Wood can win Most Improved Player
If Christian Wood were to win the 2022 Most Improved Player award he would be the first player to average over 20 points per game in the season prior to winning the award. Looking at the players with the three highest points per game averages prior to winning the award can give us an idea of how much he'd need to improve to claim the award.
Danny Granger in 2009, Brandon Ingram in 2020, and Julius Randle in 2021 are the only players to have averaged over 18 points per game prior to winning the award. Here's, as a group, how they stacked up in traditional and advanced metrics in the season prior to winning the award, the season they won it, and the total difference.
4. Pre-Most Improved Season
PPG: 19.1 RPG: 6.9 APG: 2.7 WS: 4 VORP: 1.13 BPM: -0.3 USG: 24.67%
5. Most Improved Season
PPG: 24.5 RPG: 7.1 APG: 4.3 WS: 6.96 VORP: 3.4 BPM: 3.53 USG: 29%
PPG: +5.43 RPG: +0.16 APG: +1.5 WS: +2.96 VORP: +2.26 BPM: +3.838 USG: +4.3%
For Christian Wood to win the Most Improved Player award he'd need to average in the neighborhood of 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. He'd also need his BPM to improve from 1.4 to around 3.5. An increase of that magnitude would vault him into the top-25 player discussion. Seeing an increase in usage rate of +4.3-percent to a 30-percent plus usage rate would certainly help. In other words, for Christian Wood to claim the Most Improved Player award next season he needs to go from a borderline All-Star to a borderline or better All-NBA player.