Most Improved Player Odds: Julius Randle Heavily Favored Over Jerami Grant & Michael Porter Jr.
The NBA Playoffs will be fully underway this weekend, which means fans have started turning their attention to the upcoming individual awards. The Most Improved Player Award is given to the player who's shown the most improvement from last season to the next. Despite how many players did progress over the most recent campaign, there's one who clearly stands above the rest.
FanDuel Sportsbook is favoring New York Knicks forward Julius Randle to be crowned this season's Most Improved Player at -8000 odds. Jerami Grant (+1900) of the Detroit Pistons and Michael Porter Jr. (+3000) of the Denver Nuggets round out the other two finalists, but it's evident that neither's odds even come close to Randle's.
Most Improved Player Odds
At 26, Randle proved that it's never too late to have a breakout season. He's a big reason as to why the Knicks are the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. He averaged career-highs in points (24.1), which was up by nearly 5 points per game, and assists (6.0) while shooting .456/.411/.811. Each of these statistics was a major improvement over last season, leading to Randle making the NBA All-Star Game for the first time in his career.
Even though the odds are heavily in Randle's favor, it's not a slight against Grant and Porter. In fact, both players have made significant improvements in their own right. Grant left the Nuggets for the Pistons over the offseason as he wanted a bigger role. Well, that's exactly what he got as he averaged 22.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game in 54 starts this season. While he did average more than 10 more points per game than he did last season, it's largely because he was essentially the only option in Detroit for most of the campaign.
Meanwhile, Porter Jr. stepped up big time for the Nuggets this past season. After averaging 9.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 0.8 assists last year, he improved his numbers to 19.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists per content. Porter Jr. also proved that he could handle a bigger workload, playing around 15 more minutes per game than he did in his rookie season.
While Grant and Porter can make a solid case to be named Most Improved Player, there's just no doubting what Randle has done. He's taken a Knicks team that was expected to be perennial basement dwellers and dragged them into being one of the top-4 teams in the East. With all due respect to the other candidates, it would be completely wrong if Randle isn't named the NBA's Most Improved Player.
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