Although Atlanta was affected by Paul Millsap dealing with flu-like symptoms which forced him out of the starting lineup, that’s not enough of a reason for the Hawks to shoot 39 percent from the field in the first half and trail by as many as 18 points.
Jimmy Butler tops 29 other vote-getters to win Most Improved Player
With a difficult-to-define award like this, let’s just say plenty of voters – intentionally or not – showed bias toward the team they covered. Thirty players received votes, and though none of the recipients are horrid choices, it’s difficult to make the case many of them were among the three most-improved players in the entire league.
Here’s the full voting:
Player (team) first-place votes, second-place votes, third-place votes, points
Late in the first half of the Hawks’ unimpressive Game 2 win over the Wizards, Paul Pierce leveled Jeff Teague in the open court, using a body block of sorts to make sure Teague didn’t get loose for an uncontested fast break.
Pierce has had no trouble playing the villain in these playoffs, which is a strategy that worked to perfection during Washington’s first-round sweep of the Raptors.
But this seemed to be an isolated incident. And though the fans had a derogatory chant ready for Pierce after this play, he responded with nothing more than a few words and a smile as he headed to the bench.