Greg Monroe received a second-place vote in Most Improved Player voting – Paul George won the award – and, while it’s appreciated when the Pistons receive national recognition, the choice is a little surprising. Here’s what I wrote when Monroe received a Most Improved Player vote in an ESPN panel:
Monroe showed a more well-rounded game this year, a sign of improvement as a player. But an increased attention to the less-efficient areas of his game (ball-handling, mid-range shooting, passing) at the expense of the more efficient areas of his game (offensive rebounding, interior scoring) made him less productive.
I’d argue Monroe is a better player than a year ago simply because he can do more on the court, and assuming his rebounding and low-post skills haven’t deteriorated, that bodes well for his future. But because of his change in focus this season, Monroe produced less for his team.
There are plenty of players who meet both criteria – real improvement and increased production – who are far more deserving of the award.
Many award voters make their picks public. Did anyone see someone declare a second-place vote for Monroe?