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.