Detroit Pistons: Isaiah Stewart’s chances at Most Improved Player
Unlike Hayes, Stewart has been pretty impressive in his first two seasons and made a name for himself last season as a versatile defender and as the guy who rampaged after LeBron James like he was coming out of the tunnel in pro wrestling.
Stewart averaged 8.3 points and 8.7 rebounds last season while starting 71 games, so he has laid the foundation for a Most Improved Player award, especially when you consider his hustle stats and versatile defense.
He was one of the best centers in the league at switching on the perimeter and I do think his defense is going to get some attention next season.
But for Stewart to have a real chance at MIP, the team would not only have to be significantly better (as I’ve mentioned) but he’d also have to bump his offensive numbers way up.
If Stewart was more in the range of 15 points, 10 rebounds per game, he’d get some consideration, especially when he is known for his defense. This is a possibility, as Stewart is going to get some run at power forward, which should mean more shot attempts, especially from beyond-the-arc.
If Stewart can knock them down at a high rate as he did late last season, those scoring numbers are not impossible. Stewart should also get a chance to improve on his assist numbers, which weren’t bad last season, as he ended with 1.2 per game.
If his season averages balloon to 15 points, 10 rebounds and three assists while shooting 38 percent from 3-point range, Stewart could work himself into the MIP discussion.
It’s not as big a long shot as Killian Hayes, but the odds are still against it.