Even before the NBA pushed the release of its regular-season awards back until after the playoffs (so TNT can give us Shaq dancing and NBA players reading from teleprompters), there have been times when one player won a regular season award only to have another player step up in the playoffs and look like he deserved it.
Not this season — Pascal Siakam was the Most Improved Player in the regular season and Spicy P was a force for the Raptors in the playoffs.
Siakam has officially won the NBA’s Most Improved Player award.
Siakam broadened his game this season, doing a little bit of everything better. He averaged 16.9 points per game, shot 36.9 percent from three, grabbed 6.9 rebounds a game, and became an important part of the Raptors’ defensive plans.
Siakam stepped up his game and averaged 19 a night in the playoffs. Now he’s got a ring to show for it.
Brooklyn’s D'Angelo Russell, who had a breakout season, finished second, with Sacramento’s De'Aaron Fox third, his teammate Buddy Hield fourth, and Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic fifth. Here are the full voting results.