Nene, J.R. Smith and Chris Andersen Not the NBA’s Most Improved Player

No Denver Nuggets’ player won the NBA Most Improved Player award, but Denver was well represented in the voting.  Danny Granger from the Indiana Pacers won the award with 364 points (48 first place votes, 37 second and 13 third) finishing 25 points ahead of Devin Harris. 

Nene was the first Nugget on the list finishing fifth with 58 points thanks to seven first place votes, five second place votes and eight third place votes.  The players who finished ahead of Nene were Granger, Harris, Kevin Durant (83 points) and Paul Millsap (78 points).

The other Nuggets on the list were Chris Andersen and J.R. Smith who both had six points after each receiving one first place vote and one third place vote.

J.R. Smith is having quite the awards season.  He finished second in the sixth man of the year vote, received a vote for the first team all defensive squad and now is in the top 15 of the most improved player voting.

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  • Othe33

    Can someone please expand on the JR defensive team vote? I mean, I love the kid, have since he was a Hornet, and couldn’t be happier that he’s with us and finally filling out as a player…but who would vote for him as a 1st team all-defensive player? Is there any justification for that? Don’t the coaches make those votes?

    I laugh every time I hear it. Maybe it will inspire him to get more votes next year…I just want him to keep playing hard. Good things will happen for him, and for the Nuggets.

  • TCuz

    As a newcomer to the RMC, let me first state how wonderfully articulate and insightful most posts and comments are on this site.

    On the matter of J.R. Smith’s receiving a vote for all-defensive first team, I’m not entirely sure who would consider him a better defender than anyone else in the league at his position. He has, however, shown flashes of the defensive prowess that he’s capable of this season, including the admirable work he did on Kobe Bryant when the Lakers visited Denver earlier this year.

    There is a lot to be said about Denver’s young talent finally beginning to grow up this year, and we’ve all seen the results on the court. Young Mr. Swish has come a long way since arriving in Denver, but more specifically since the arrival of Chauncey Billups. has an outstanding article done by OTL about How Chauncey grew up on the court and how he is now, in turn, helping players like J.R. and Melo grow up. Defensively, however, there is still much room for growth, especially for J.R. In the mean time, however, it is nice for someone, somewhere, to acknowledge that he is at least making an effort to improve.