5 Reasons Why Hassan Whiteside Deserves This Year’s Most Improved Player Award

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5. Biggest Impact out of Contenders

When voters are to think of candidates for this year’s Most Improved Player award, names such as Jimmy Butler, Anthony Davis, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green will be the top players that pop up.

In the case of Butler, he’s currently leading (along with Pau Gasol) the Chicago Bulls to a top four record in the East, while posting 20.2 points per game. Butler recently garnered his first All-Star selection, and is clearly playing better than last season when he averaged 13.1 PPG.

Davis has the New Orleans Pelicans on the verge of entering the postseason, and he is having a dominant season himself. The 6’10” big is leading the league in blocks per game (2.8) and PER (31.73). Not to mention, he is averaging 24.7 PPG and 10.4 RPG.

However, he did average amazing numbers last season as well, posting averages of 20.8 PPG and 10.0 RPG.

Both Thompson and Green have aided the Golden State Warriors in achieving the best record in the NBA. Thompson is putting up 21.7 PPG while Green is displaying an all-around game at the small forward spot, as he’s averaging 8.3 RPG, 1.6 steals a game and 1.4 blocks per contest.

With the exception of Davis, none of these players come close to the impact and dominance that Whiteside has had on the Heat this season.

As far as Davis versus Whiteside goes, the Pelicans center is not dominating the glass, nor blocking shots at the rate that Whiteside is.

Next: Why Whiteside Faces an Uphill Battle

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D.J. Siddiqi grew up in the heart of South Florida in Broward County. Growing up in South Florida during the late 90's and 2000's, D.J. witnessed the Pat Riley years where the Miami Heat faced off with the New York Knicks all the way to the painful late 2000's seasons where the Heat were a one-man team with Dwyane Wade. D.J. has closely followed the Heat over the past decade-and-a-half, and unfortunately witnessed Game 2 of the 2011 NBA Finals in person when the Dallas Mavericks overcame a 15-point deficit to knock off the Heat. D.J. has writing experience as a columnist with sites such as Bleacher Report and Rant Sports, and he is proud to bring his knowledge of the Heat and the NBA to Heat Nation.