Should Houston Rockets' Alperen Sengun be the 2023-24 NBA Most Improved Player?

Does Houston Rockets big man Alperen Sengun deserve Most Improved Player over Tyrese Maxey?
Does Houston Rockets big man Alperen Sengun deserve Most Improved Player over Tyrese Maxey? / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

It doesn't matter what you do. No matter which sphere of life you operate in, your goal is to improve. So, anyone would like to be acknowledged as the person to improve the most in their company in a given year.

Fansided, we're coming for that Most Improved Website award.

Alperen Sengun of the Houston Rockets is aiming for the NBA's 2023-24 Most Improved Player award. He was just named a finalist alongside Tyrese Maxey of the Philadelphia 76ers and Coby White of the Chicago Bulls.

Who deserves the award?

Houston Rockets big man facing stiff competition

When you're looking at this award, you aren't strictly looking at numbers. Team context and role come into play as well. Let's look at the numbers first.

In terms of basic counting stats, Sengun has a compelling case. How does he stack up with his two peers?

Tyrese Maxey

2022-23: 20.3 points per game, 3.5 assists per game, 2.9 rebounds per game, 60.5 True Shooting Percentage (TS%)

2023-24: 25.9 points per game, 6.2 assists per game, 3.7 rebounds per game, 57.3 TS%

Coby White

2022-23: 9.7 points per game, 2.8 assists per game, 2.9 rebounds per game, 57.2 TS%

2023-24: 19.1 points per game, 5.1 assists per game, 4.5 rebounds per game, 57.0 TS%

Alperen Sengun

2022-23: 14.8 points per game, 3.9 assists per game, 9.0 rebounds per game, 59.9 TS%

2023-24: 21.1 points per game, 5.0 assists per game, 9.3 rebounds per game, 58.5 TS%

Those are your basic counting stats. Points, assists, rebounds and overall efficiency. What about some advanced metrics?

Tyrese Maxey

2022-23: 0.6 Box Plus/Minus (BPM), 1.3 Value Over Replacement Player (VORP)

2023-24: 3.1 BPM, 3.4 VORP

Coby White

2022-23: -0.8 BPM, 0.5 VORP

2023-24: -0.7 BPM, 0.9 VORP

Alperen Sengun

2022-23: 1.4 BPM, 1.9 VORP

2023-24: 4.9 BPM, 3.5 VORP

What conclusions can we draw from the numbers?

Do Houston Rockets roster the most improved player?

The numbers are interesting.

It's worth noting that both Maxey and Sengun saw a dip in their efficiency between each season. That's to be expected with increased volume, but we've still got to credit White for maintaining his efficiency while seeing the biggest jump in points per game.

At the same time, the advanced stats suggest that White has the weakest case. Both BPM and VORP are intended to measure a player's overall impact on his team's success. Despite his new role, each stat says that White's impact hasn't increased.

These stats are not gospel. Still, when they agree, it's worth listening. This is less likely to be a quirk in the numbers and more likely to say something of value.

On the other hand, Maxey and Sengun had comparable leaps in terms of BPM and VORP. It seems fair to say that while White's responsibilities increased the most, he didn't see the most improvement. That would be one of Sengun or Maxey.

Look: we're biased. This is SpaceCityScoop. The good folks over at Sixer Sense may make a case for Maxey.

We're making a case for Sengun.

Houston Rockets' Alperen Sengun was the most improved player

There are at least two components in measuring improvement. Who's impact improved the most, and who's role changed the most?

The difference in impact between Sengun and Maxey was marginal. They both made significant strides in terms of helping their teams change.

Sengun made a notably bigger leap in terms of role.

Maxey went from the third option on a contender to the second option on a contender. Sengun went from third option on a bottom feeder to first option on a playoff hopeful. If Maxey were blowing Sengun out of the water in BPM and VORP, that would be a moot point.

Since he isn't, Alperen Sengun should be your 2023-24 NBA Most Improved Player.