With the NBA regular season nearing its conclusion, we here at “Sir Charles in Charge” have decided the time is right to start handing out some end-of-year hardware to those around the league who have stood out amongst the pack and performed at the highest level in the National Basketball Association this year.
Over the next few days, we will be giving you our selections for all of the major NBA awards (Most Improved, Coach, Defensive Player, 6th Man, Rookie, Most Valuable Player). I as Editor of “Sir Charles in Charge” have received nominations and votes from fellow staff writers as well as loyal readers of the site for all of the awards.
The results are in. Let’s begin with who we believe was the leagues Most Improved Player in 2012.
2nd runner-up: Orlando Magic Forward Ryan Anderson
2010-11 averages: 10.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 0.5 steals, 39% three-point percentage
2011-12 averages: 15.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 0.9 steals, 40% three-point percentage
On a Magic roster that so badly needed a second scorer behind Dwight Howard, Ryan Anderson came out of nowhere in 2012 and became Orlando’s standalone #2 scoring option behind its Superman.
The idea that Anderson is merely a three-point threat is a gross understatement. While he ranks near the top of the NBA in three point shots made, taken and three point percentage, he’s also evolved his game to become a better rebounder and post presence for the Orlando Magic.
He’s currently 20 shots ahead of Mavericks guard Jason Terry for most three pointers nailed this season at 156.
With Rashard Lewis and Brandon Bass now ancient history, Anderson has the starting power forward spot on lockdown and will look to build on his impressive year this summer in the NBA playoffs.
1st runner-up: New York Knicks Point Guard Jeremy Lin
2010-11 averages: 2.6 points, 1.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.1 steals
2011-12 averages: 14.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.6 steals
You really didn’t think that Jeremy was going to be left off this list now did you?
Lin was probably the biggest story in the NBA all season. The little asian kid out of Harvard University who was never supposed to amount to anything on the professional level took the league by storm and captivated fans from city to city. He went from the bottom of the depth chart to an NBA sensation overnight and single-handedly reinvigorated a New York Knicks team who was in desperate need of some good fortune.
Now the ONLY reason Jeremy Lin is not winning the SCIC award for Most Improved Player is because frankly, this is the first year in which we’ve seen Lin get a decent amount of minutes on NBA court. Now that he has a tremendous opportunity for playing time in New York City, we can FINALLY see the player that Jeremy Lin truly is. He may have been this good all along. You could even “technically” call this a rookie season for the young man as he’s only now seeing a steady dose of playing time.
Ladies and gentleman, LINSANITY has arrived.
and the winner of the first ever SCIC award for the NBA’s Most Improved Player goes to….
Los Angeles Lakers Center Andrew Bynum
2010-11 averages: 11.3 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 57% field goal percentage
2011-12 averages: 18.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 58% field goal percentage
Andrew Bynum was already an outstanding player, don’t get me wrong. He’s been an elite option at the center position for the last 3-4 years.
It’s just the way that he elevated his game this season to not only be considered one of (if not the) best bigs in basketball, but one of the best players in the entire league that won him this award.
Bynum raised his scoring average by a full 7 points on a team where scoring the basketball is usually reserved for Kobe Bryant and fellow big Pau Gasol. He also garnered more league recognition this season by qualifying for his very first all-star game as a starter for the Western Conference.
He’s only 24 years old. His potential is limitless. We have yet to see the best of Andrew Bynum.
That’s a scary thought.
Honorable Mentions: Minnesota Timberwolves Center Nikola Pekovic, Detroit Pistons Center Greg Monroe, Oklahoma City Thunder Guard James Harden
Staff Writer John Armstrong nominations: 5) Evan Turner 4) Brandon Rush 3) Gordon Hayward 2) Jeremy Lin 1) Andrew Bynum
Staff Writer Joe Nardone nominations: 5) Kris Humphries 4) Andrew Bynum 3) Marcin Gortat 2) Roy Hibbert 1) Jeremy Lin
Editor Chris Walder nominations: 5) Ryan Anderson 4) Nikola Pekovic 3) Greg Monroe 2) Jeremy Lin 1) Andrew Bynum
Reader nominations (after tally): 5) Nikola Pekovic 4) James Harden 3) Ryan Anderson 2) Jeremy Lin 1) Andrew Bynum
Coming tomorrow: SCIC award for Coach of the Year
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports