Paul George of the Indiana Pacers will be named the 2012-13 Most Improved Player, sources confirm. Official announcement to come.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) April 23, 2013
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.