Luka Doncic has led the Dallas Mavericks to a 15-6 record while increasing his averages in almost every statistical category. Why hasn’t he been mentioned for NBA Most Improved Player?
The season is only a quarter over, but the NBA can’t help but talk about who might be winning the big awards at the end of the season. The Dallas Mavericks have Luka Doncic playing at an elite level this year and already garnering attention as an All-NBA and even MVP candidate. Despite missing out on being an All-Star last year, Luka has surpassed all expectations and become one of the best players in the league.
Luka is also in the process of going through a massive jump from his previous year to this year. He is averaging 9 more points, more than 3 more assists and nearly 2.5 more rebounds per game than last year.
It is understandable that he is getting overlooked due to his MVP aspirations, but the fact that he is going from a non-All-Star season to a potential MVP year is something that deserves to be recognized. Almost everyone knew he was going to be great, but no one could’ve predicted he would be this great this fast.
Not only has Luka improved in almost every statistic, he has improved at a higher rate than that of Pascal Siakam, someone who has been mentioned as the frontrunner for the award this year (even though he won it last year). The winning of the Rookie of the Year award last year must remove any chance of winning Most Improved Player, no matter how much you improve.
I won’t be upset if Luka doesn’t win the MIP award. Obviously there are much bigger aspirations for the Slovenian sensation this season, between playoffs, All-Star, All-NBA and the legitimate chance of winning an MVP award if he keeps playing the way he is. Those things are all better than the Most Improved Player award and Luka could do all of those things.
It would be even cooler if he won both awards though. Have you ever heard of a player making a big enough jump to garner attention in both categories? No one has ever won the awards in the same year, but some have won both in their career. If Luka falls short in the MVP race, he should be considered the frontrunner for MIP.
The NBA awards don’t mean much, but they sure are fun to talk about. As a Mavs fan this year, there is a good chance we get to hear some of the players mentioned in several of the awards and Coach Carlisle will likely get some votes for Coach of the Year as well. It is a good time to be a Mavs fan.