Paul George of the Indiana Pacers will be named the 2012-13 Most Improved Player, sources confirm. Official announcement to come.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) April 23, 2013
As most have been tweeting, Pacers call 10 am press conference on Tuesday where Paul George will be named NBA's Most Improved Player— Mike Wells (@MikeWellsNBA) April 23, 2013
This marks yet another monumental step in George's ascent up the league's hierarchy.
As a rookie in 2010-11, the Fresno State product earned All-Rookie Second Team honors, after averaging 7.8 points in 20.7 minutes per game.
He started all 66 games for the Pacers in last year's lockout-shortened season en route to 12.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.6 steals in 29.7 minutes. He flashed signs of star potential throughout the season, but consistency was an issue.
In his third season, he took the leap from talented young player to NBA All-Star.
Who should have won?
With Danny Granger out for most of the season, George rose to the occasion for the Pacers, averaging 17.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.8 steals per contest. He was slightly less efficient, dropping his 44.0 percent field-goal percentage to a 41.9 clip, but he led Indiana to a No. 3 seed in the East as their go-to offensive option.
In winning this award, George beats out several other intriguing candidates. Larry Sanders, Greivis Vasquez, Omer Asik and several others around the league took their games to new levels this year, and every single one of them has a compelling case for the achievement.
But in the end, the voters went with George, who established himself as not only one of the NBA's most talented, versatile players, but as the leader of one of the league's best teams.