Paul George Wins NBA’s MIP, Monty Williams Upset Greivis Vasquez Finished 2nd
Indiana Pacers forward Paul George has been named the NBA's Most Improved Player, a deserving recognition for the 6'9 All-Star who developed into one of the league's upcoming stars.
In addition to being the league's only player with at least 50 blocks and 140 steals, Paul George averaged career highs in points (17.4) and rebounds (7.6). He also established himself as a premiere defender.
Hornets point guard Greivis Vasquez (13 first-place votes) was a candidate for MIP, but finished second to George, who received 52 of 120 first-place votes. Pelicans/Hornets coach Monty Williams expressed disappointment to the Times-Picayune in Vasquez losing out to George.
"I felt bad for Greivis because he worked really hard to have a good year and him not winning it doesn't nullify or diminish the year he had," Williams said Tuesday. "In looking at the players on that list, there are a lot of guys who could have won it. Greivis could have won it also.
"He busted his butt all year long. It's unfortunate that Paul had a great year also. The one thing we've talked to our guys about is when we lose something, to be gracious to the guy who won. I know Greivis is really respectful of Paul. It's unfortunate, but it's a sign we're headed in the right direction."
While leading the league in assists with 704, Vasquez finished with career-highs across the board (17.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.8 steals)
However, it should be no surprise that Vasquez finished runner-up. New Orleans' record was 27-55, heading back to the draft lottery. Indiana finished 49-32 and is currently playing in the postseason as the 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.