Pacers' Paul George to be named Most Improved Player, according to report

Andy Lyons

With Danny Granger gone, Paul George stepped up and became the Pacers' best offensive option while helping shut teams down defensively. That earned him the Most Improved Player Award, the first for a Pacer since Granger won it in 2009.

The Indiana Pacers' Paul George will win the NBA's Most Improved Player award after a breakout season where he emerged as the top option on the best defensive team in the league:

George was forced into a larger role: the Pacers were supposed to be based around Danny Granger, who had led the team in scoring every season since 2007-08. But Granger only played five games due to knee issues, and wasn't himself when playing. As a result, George was forced to take nearly 15 shots a game, and he responded well, with his scoring increasing from 12.1 points last season to 17.4 this year.

But it wasn't just offense: George, a rangy 6'9 small forward, helped shut down opposing scorers, as Indiana earned the third-seed in the East with Frank Vogel emphasizing defense. George also reeled in 7.6 boards per game.

Other potential candidates included Larry Sanders, who also emerged as a defensive force for the Bucks, Greivis Vasquez, who was a starter - and an effective point guard - for the first time in his career with New Orleans, and Jrue Holiday, who carried the load for Philadelphia with Andrew Bynum out.

More from SB Nation:

The real problem with the Lakers

Phil Jackson still haunts the Lakers

What if James Harden stayed with OKC?

Cavs reach out to Phil Jackson

Linsanity's playoff debut a dud

Flannery: The pass Melo had to make

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.