Aaron Brooks named Most Improved Player

Not to break my arm patting myself on the back, but it looks like my prediction a few days ago was spot on. Aaron Brooks has won the 2010 Most Improved Player award.

The speedy, 6-foot point guard was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player on Thursday, after setting career highs in points (19.6 per game), assists (5.3) and rebounds (2.6). His scoring average went up 8.4 points from 2008-09, the highest increase of any qualifying player.

Brooks earned 403 of a possible 615 points, including 62 first-place votes, from a panel of 123 sports writers and broadcasters. Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City and George Hill of San Antonio tied for second with 101 total points.

This marks the 9th straight year that the award has gone to a player drafted with the 16th pick or later. Sixteen of the last 17 MIP winners were drafted #13 or later (or not at all, in the case of Darrell Armstrong). The award simply doesn’t go to former lottery picks.

Kevin Durant finished second, but as a former #2 overall pick, his superstardom was expected. I am a little surprised that Andrew Bogut didn’t finish in the top three. I thought that the somewhat mediocre start he had to his career would have lowered the bar enough that his drastic improvement both offensively and defensively would have been noticed by the voters.

As for George Hill, after only one TrueHoop panelist voted for him, this is what I had to say:

What about George Hill? He only got one vote from the TrueHoop panel, but the former 26th overall pick improved his numbers from 6-2-2 last season to 12-3-3 this season, and was a big reason why the Spurs stayed in the playoff picture even though they lost Tony Parker for part of the season.

Congratulations to Brooks. He had a very nice season.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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