Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic award NBA's Most Improved Player Award, Jazz guard Alec Burks distant 27th

"Stop calling me Daenerys Targaryen. Please coach. We had talk about this." - Christian Petersen

Baby dragons can still kill

The NBA's Most Improved Player award is the craziest award there is. There are really no rules. Some people vote for who made the biggest personal improvement. Some people vote for great players who take that next step. Others vote for fringe players who become rotation guys, or better. For the last few years it's really just gone to the guy who has gone from rookie to realizing his potential. This year we got the award going Phoenix Suns point guard Goran Dragic, a player in his 6th season in the NBA.

That isn't rare when you look at the award historically, but rare in the 2000s.

The voting was screwy, but memorable. I've included the NET improvements in MPG, PER, and BARPS as well. And well, you can see who really got better by the numbers.

MPG PER BARPS
Player Team Total 1st 2nd 3rd '13-14 '12-13 NET '13-14 '12-13 NET '13-14 '12-13 NET
1 Goran Dragic Suns 408 65 25 8 35.1 33.5 1.6 21.4 17.5 3.9 31.1 27.1 4.0
2 Lance Stephenson Pacers 158 13 24 21 35.3 29.2 6.1 14.7 11.8 2.9 26.4 16.8 9.6
3 Anthony Davis Pelicans 155 16 21 12 35.2 28.8 6.4 26.5 21.7 4.8 36.5 25.7 10.8
4 Gerald Green Suns 117 16 7 16 28.4 18.0 10.4 16.5 9.9 6.6 22.1 10.9 11.2
5 DeAndre Jordan Clippers 66 4 13 7 35.0 24.5 10.5 18.2 17.2 1.0 28.4 18.3 10.1
6 Kyle Lowry Raptors 43 2 8 9 36.2 29.7 6.5 20.1 17.5 2.6 31.7 24.5 7.2
7 Blake Griffin Clippers 39 6 1 6 35.8 32.5 3.3 23.9 22.4 1.5 39.3 31.8 7.5
8 DeMar DeRozan Raptors 28 1 4 11 38.2 36.7 1.5 18.4 14.7 3.7 32.5 25.7 6.8
9 Patty Mills Spurs 14 4 2 18.9 11.3 7.6 18.7 14.1 4.6 15.0 7.6 7.4
10
Isaiah Thomas Kings 13 3 4 34.7 26.9 7.8 20.5 17.5 3.0 30.9 20.7 10.2
10 Markieff Morris Suns 13 1 1 5 26.6 22.4 4.2 18.4 12.6 5.8 31.1 26.1 5.0
12 Shaun Livingston Nets 11 2 5 26.0 22.0 4.0 14.5 13.0 1.5 16.3 13.2 3.1
13 D.J. Augustin Bulls 9 1 4 27.3 16.1 11.2 16.2 11.0 5.2 20.0 8.5 11.5
14 Reggie Jackson Thunder 8 1 5 28.5 14.2 14.3 15.4 14.2 1.2 22.3 10.0 12.3
15 Robin Lopez Trail Blazers 6 1 3 31.7 26.0 5.7 17.6 18.9 -1.3 22.5 19.7 2.8
15 Klay Thompson Warriors 6 2 35.4 35.8 -0.4 14.3 12.7 1.6 25.1 24.0 1.1
17 DeMarcus Cousins Kings 5 1 2 32.4 30.5 1.9 26.1 20.2 5.9 40.1 31.8 8.3
17 Kevin Durant Thunder 5 1 38.5 38.5 0.0 29.8 28.3 1.5 46.9 43.3 3.6
19 Al Jefferson Bobcats 4 1 1 35.0 33.1 1.9 22.6 20.9 1.7 36.7 31.2 5.5
20 Andre Drummond Pistons 3 1 32.3 20.7 11.6 22.6 21.6 1.0 29.9 18.6 11.3
20 Terrence Jones Rockets 3 1 27.3 14.5 12.8 12.3 12.3 0.0 22.1 11.3 10.8
20 Jodie Meeks Lakers 3 1 33.2 21.3 11.9 14.7 11.4 3.3 21.5 11.8 9.7
20 Taj Gibson Bulls 3 1 28.7 22.4 6.3 16.0 14.4 1.6 22.8 16.0 6.8
20 Bradley Beal Wizards 3 1 34.7 31.2 3.5 14.3 13.6 0.7 25.3 21.5 3.8
20 Mike Conley Grizzlies 3 1 33.5 34.5 -1.0 20.0 18.3 1.7 27.8 26.0 1.8
20 LeBron James Heat 3 1 37.7 37.9 -0.2 29.3 31.6 -2.3 42.3 44.7 -2.4
27 Alec Burks Jazz 1 1 28.1 17.8 10.3 15.8 11.5 4.3 21.1 11.4 9.7
27 Paul Millsap Hawks 1 1 33.5 30.4 3.1 19.8 19.8 0.0 32.3 26.6 5.7
27 LaMarcus Aldridge Trail Blazers 1 1 36.2 37.7 -1.5 21.8 20.4 1.4 38.8 34.8 4.0
27 John Wall Wizards 1 1 36.3 32.7 3.6 19.5 20.8 -1.3 34.5 32.2 2.3
27 Chandler Parsons Rockets 1 1 37.6 36.3 1.3 15.9 15.3 0.6 27.7 25.7 2.0

The Utah Jazz had one guy on this list, Alec Burks -- who had one lone vote (from a Boston Globe writer at that. The Suns had three. I thought coaches made players better, and we had the best coach ever? Maybe not. So Alec tied for 27th best with a bunch of All-Stars and CP from H-Town. So that's not too shabby, right? Alec's improvement in MPG was 8th best, improvement in PER was 7th best, and improvement in BARPS was 10th best. I guess if he played for a bigger market, played for a team going to the playoffs, or you know, started, his stature would have been larger.

The case in point here being Beal from Wash -- Burks' improvement in the three net categories were all higher, but Beal got a 2nd place vote, while Alec only a 3rd. Oh, and by the numbers -- some guys have a huge reason to feel bad about the voting, so it's not just our Alec.

But like all things Jazz related in this era of Jazz basketball -- "don't fret, there's always "next yeaaar", or if not, the year after that!"

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