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

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Why Whiteside Faces an Uphill Battle

The two major arguments against Whiteside winning the MIP award will be this—number of games played and Anthony Davis.

The Heat center has played in just 35 of Miami’s 63 games played. That’s a little over half of the team’s season. Assuming he sees action in the Heat’s remaining 19 games, he will have played in just 55 games for the entire season.

Over the course of the award’s history, the least amount of games played by an MIP winner in a non-shortened season was Pervis Ellison of the Washington Bullets during the 1991-92 season. He performed in 66 games that year.

The second reason why Hassan faces an uphill battle is because of Anthony Davis. While Davis doesn’t dominate games on the glass and in the blocks department to the extent Hassan does, he clearly has Whiteside beat in scoring and has also played nearly the entire season for his team.

In all likelihood, Whiteside won’t win the award this season.

However, with all things considered the Heat’s young center deserves the award this season. No single player has improved more than Whiteside, and that’s what the award is really all about. While Davis was already one of the game’s top bigs last season, Whiteside was an absolute nobody.

There is not a single player in the NBA that has improved more than No. 21 and that is the reason he deserves this year’s MIP award.

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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.