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The maturation process we’ve seen from Jrue Holiday of the Philadelphia 76ers (who is still just 22 years old) is nothing short of impressive.
Holiday’s numbers this season are up nearly across the board. He’s developed into a true floor general for Philly under head coach Doug Collins, even with the absence of a true star around him.
As a jilted fantasy basketball owner (I had Holiday on my team last season), seeing the breakout year from the young star is both frustrating and surprising. With that said, my disappointment in Holiday last season has become the joy of new fantasy owners this season. The season-to-season shift has been a night-and-day difference.
Compared to Holiday’s career numbers: 12.5 points, 5.4 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game, his numbers this season are all the more impressive: 18.4 points, 8.9 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.
Holiday has been a force on both ends of the court this season, and his improvement from last season is truly dramatic. His only negative is a high turnover rate (3.8 turnovers per contest), but he’s certainly deserving of the Most Improved Player Award thus far.
Making a Case
The big Brazilian is leading the league in rebounds (14.4 per game, a career high) in addition to a career high of 14.1 points per game.
He's been outstanding for the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers thus far, but he’s shooting just 47.8 percent from the field as a big man, one of the worst marks of his career. He’s also been a poor shot-blocker, averaging 0.6 blocks per game.
Varejao has always been a solid hustle player. His numbers this year have shown big improvements, but it’s not entirely unexpected.
Asik has embraced the role of starting center in Houston and is posting career highs in minutes, points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals and free-throw percentage.
However, while Asik has been better than expected offensively, he’s still not a dynamic talent on that end. He’s averaging 2.8 turnovers per game as a center and his numbers could simply be attributed to his minutes, which have nearly doubled this season compared to last season in Chicago.
Davis is having a career season in just about every regard this year. He transitioned to a full-time starter this season and was given the opportunity to lead with Dwight Howard gone.
He’s worthy, but he may get overshadowed by other candidates.