Ersan Ilyasova did not win the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award for 2011-12.
Instead, the award went to Ryan Anderson of the Orlando Magic. Anderson received 260 of a possible 605 points, including 33 first-place votes, from a voting group of sportswriters and broadcasters. Ersan nabbed 21 first-place votes on his way to 159 points. Nikola Pekovic of the Minnesota Timberwolves finished third.
If there’s any dissatisfaction to Ilyasova not winning the award, it’s made worse by the fact that:
1) Anderson didn’t really get better; he only put up better numbers by playing more minutes.
2) They play the same position in the same way (the “stretch-4″). And Ersan is better.
Ilyasova played a unique season in the history of basketball, putting up ridiculously efficient numbers in moderate minutes. Winning the award could have upped the ante needed to keep Ersan in Milwaukee; by losing, his free-agent price tag presumably falls. As a result, the Bucks chances of retaining Ilyasova go up, however slightly it may be.
Oddly, Andrew Bogut received a first-place vote despite playing in only 12 games. Not only did he play just a fraction on the season, but when he did, he couldn’t shoot a lick either. (In his defense, he was terrific on defense. Punny, eh?) Whomever came up with Bogues for MIP should have his/her ballot revoked for 2012-13.
Mercifully, Ersan’s margin of defeat was wider than one first-place vote.