With just 17 games remaining, Brooks is by far the Rockets’ most viable award candidate. The Rockets have not won an individual NBA performance award since Steve Francis was the Co-rookie of the Year in 2000, and if Brooks becomes their first-ever Most Improved winner, it would be a breakthrough for a team that has not had an All-Star, player of the month or player of the week selection this season.
Not that it matters, but I have always found this award to be so inaptly named. It’s true that Houston Rockets guard Aaron Brooks has improved this year – he’s made huge strides with his interior passing and overall decision making. But the irony at play is that the considerations are being made on the basis of his scoring increase. As is almost always the case for recipients of this award, that increase has for the most part been a function of increased usage/opportunity, not actual improvement, in the literal sense.
I suppose it would be too difficult to objectively evaluate improvement from a league-wide scope. Still, at least change the name to Breakout Player of the Year or something of that ilk.