Indiana Pacers forward Paul George took a monster step in his development starting in early December which earned him a spot in the NBA All-Star game an growing reputation as one of the top young two-way players in the game.
According to 30 ESPN.com writers, the leap PG made was good enough to earn him the Most Improved Player award. George earned 13 of the 30 votes for MIP with Larry Sanders finishing a distant second with five votes and Greivis Vasquez in third with three votes.
PG led the Pacers in scoring this year with 17.4 points per game, up from the 12.1 ppg he averaged last season. Of course, George also drew the most demanding defensive assignment from night-to-night as well, holding up quite well until the final two weeks of the season.
Hopefully, he'll find that MIP form when the playoffs start. Should PG win the official NBA MIP award, he would join teammate Danny Granger as a winner of the award. Granger was named the NBA's MIP following the 2008-09 season. The funny thing about this is, I'm not sure PG is the most improved player on his team when you consider how much Lance Stephenson offered the Pacers this year compared to, well, nothing last year.