Archive for May 12th, 2009

Danny Granger wins Most Improved Player

danny granger wins nba most improved player award

Danny Granger of the Indiana Pacers is the winner of the 2008-09 NBA Most Improved Player Award, the NBA announced today. The annual award is presented to a player who has made a significant improvement from the previous season.

Granger received 364 of a possible 605 points, including 48 first-place votes, from a panel of 121 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. The New Jersey Nets’ Devin Harris finished second with 339 points (43 first-place votes), followed by Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder with 83 points (six first-place votes). Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third place vote received.

In his fourth year, Granger was the league’s fifth leading scorer, averaging a career-high 25.8 points – 6.2 points higher than 2007-08 (19.6 ppg) and 9.4 points above his career average (16.4 ppg) – and becoming the first player in NBA history to raise his scoring average by at least five points in three consecutive seasons. Granger also averaged 5.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists. The 6-9 forward led the Pacers in scoring in 49 of the 67 games he played, including 13 of their final 14 games. In his last 14 games, Granger shot 43-of-96 (.448) from three-point range and his 182 three-pointers made this season rank third all time in Pacer’s history.

Mavs avoid sweep at hands of Nuggets

The AP reports: Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs awoke from their early-game slumber with rally after rally, getting close or even tied yet unable to get ahead until the former MVP made a tough, high-arching shot with 1:05 left. Having worked so hard for the lead, they weren’t about to give it back, pulling out a 119-117 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night to avoing being swept… Carmelo Anthony scored a career playoff-best 41 points and snagged five steals. He was the one turning away most Dallas rallies and made a 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds left that got Denver within a point. Yet when Mavericks guard Jason Terry intentionally missed a free throw with 1.1 ticks left, Anthony was out of answers. He got the rebound, but couldn’t stop the clock and didn’t even have time to try a 90-foot heave… “We’ve been fighting and fighting this whole series,” said Mavs forward Josh Howard, who had 21 points and 11 rebounds on two bad ankles… “They’re allowed to be fans, but when it gets personal, it goes over the top,” said Denver’s Chauncey Billups, who had 24 points and seven assists.

The AP reports: LeBron James went with his Magic impression in the deciding game of another playoff sweep. While failing to match his offensive explosion in Game 3, the league’s MVP scored 27 points and got his teammates involved as the Cleveland Cavaliers finished off the Atlanta Hawks 84-74 Monday night to win the second-round series in four straight. Delonte West and Mo Williams showed Cleveland isn’t just a one-man squad, hitting huge shots down the stretch as the Cavaliers extended their NBA-record streak of double-digit playoff wins to eight in a row. Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Anderson Varejao pounded the boards, leading the Cavaliers to another big rebounding edge… West scored 21 points, while Williams made four 3-pointers to account for his 12 points. Ilgauskas had 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Varejao seemed to get his hand on every miss, picking up seven of his 11 rebounds at the offensive end… Josh Smith led Atlanta with 26 points, but the Hawks were doomed by a miserable shooting night—23 of 73 from the field to finish at 31.5 percent. Joe Johnson added 18 points but made just 7 of 18 shots. Mike Bibby scored his only points on a 3-pointer in the final quarter. Flip Murray kept putting it up, but made only 4 of 15 for 14 points.

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