NBA Power Rankings Week 7: Every Team’s Most Improved Player


Check out every team’s most improved player from this season.

  1. Milwaukee Bucks
    Previous: 3
    Record: 17-3

The Bucks have earned the top spot on this week’s power ranking, as they are currently on a league-best 11-game winning streak. In his second year out of Villanova, Donte DiVincenzo has started looking comfortable on both ends of the court, which has helped soften the loss of Malcolm Brogdon.  

Most Improved Player: Donte DiVincenzo

  1. Los Angeles Lakers
    Previous: 1
    Record: 17-3

The Lakers’ 10-game winning streak finally snapped Sunday night, with the team losing to Luka Doncic and the Mavericks. The Lakers don’t have a clear MIP, so I’ll go with Anthony Davis, who is leading the league in blocks and having the best year of his career defensively.  

Most Improved Player: Anthony Davis

  1. Los Angeles Clippers
    Previous: 2
    Record: 15-6

After a season in which he was a dark-horse MIP candidate, Montrezl Harrell has gotten even better for the Clippers this season. Coming off the bench alongside Lou Williams, Harrell is putting up career highs so far, averaging 18.8 points and 8.0 rebounds per game this season. 

Most Improved Player: Montrezl Harrell

  1. Philadelphia 76ers
    Previous: 6
    Record: 14-6

The 76ers got back on track with a close win over the Indiana Pacers Saturday night. While not someone who attracts big headlines, James Ennis III had been a significant contributor for the Sixers, shooting 43.9 percent from deep and recording a career-best 2.2 OBPM this season.  

Most Improved Player: James Ennis

  1. Boston Celtics
    Previous: 5
    Record: 14-5

While Jayson Tatum has improved scoring-wise, Jaylen Brown has improved all around for the Celtics in his fourth season. Brown looks more comfortable with the ball in his hands, and he is a borderline all-star candidate this season.   

Most Improved Player: Jaylen Brown

  1. Toronto Raptors
    Previous: 9
    Record: 15-4

While reigning MIP Pascal Siakam has taken his game to an even higher level, I’m going with Fred VanVleet as the Raptors’ pick. After a meteoric rise in the NBA Finals last season, VanVleet has gotten even better, putting up 18.6 PPG on 41 percent from the field and 40 percent from deep this season. 

Most Improved Player: Fred VanVleet

  1. Denver Nuggets
    Previous: 4
    Record: 13-4

Nikola Jokic hasn’t lived up to expectations this season as he struggled in Denver’s overtime loss to Sacramento. After a down season in which he completely disappeared in the playoffs, Will Barton is having the best season of his career, putting up personal highs in scoring and rebounding. 

Most Improved Player: Will Barton

  1. Dallas Mavericks
    Previous: 8
    Record: 13-6

The Mavericks rebounded from a loss to the Clippers last week by taking down the Suns and Lakers. After winning ROY last season, Luka Doncic is a legitimate MVP candidate this season as he averaged a 30-point triple-double in November at age 20.  

Most Improved Player: Luka Doncic

  1. Houston Rockets
    Previous: 10
    Record: 13-6

James Harden had a legendary performance Saturday night, putting up 60 points in three quarters and on just 21 shots against the Hawks. After coming out of nowhere last season, Danuel House, Jr. has gotten even better for the Rockets, putting up 12.4 PPG on 44.4 percent from behind the arc this season. 

Most Improved Player: Danuel House Jr.

  1. Miami Heat
    Previous: 11
    Record: 14-5

While Kendrick Nunn came out of nowhere for Miami, he can’t qualify for MIP since he is a rookie. Duncan Robinson, however, has also been a considerable upgrade for the Heat this season, as he is putting up 10.7 PPG on 42.3 percent from deep, just a year after a season in which he barely played.  

Most Improved Player: Duncan Robinson

  1. Indiana Pacers
    Previous: 12
    Record: 12-7

After being a key contributor to the Bucks last season, Malcolm Brogdon has taken his game to an even higher level this season. He’s currently averaging 19.4 PPG and 7.9 APG while shooting a ridiculous 96.8 percent from the free-throw line.   

Most Improved Player: Malcolm Brogdon

  1. Utah Jazz
    Previous: 7
    Record: 12-8

The Jazz fall five spots this week after they went 1-3 with losses to Milwaukee, Indiana, and Toronto. While he doesn’t attract much attention, Bojan Bogdanovic has been an excellent pickup for the Jazz, putting up a career-best 21.5 PPG and 45.8 percent from behind the arc.   

Most Improved Player: Bojan Bogdanovic

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves
    Previous: 15
    Record: 10-9

Andrew Wiggins came into this season motivated and is proving all of his doubters wrong. He is putting up 24.8 PPG and has a positive BPM for the first time in his career. Along with the Karl-Anthony Towns, Wiggins and the Timberwolves have a shot at getting back to the playoffs this season.   

Most Improved Player: Andrew Wiggins

  1. Brooklyn Nets
    Previous: 14
    Record: 10-10

The Nets continue trending upwards as they are now 6-3 without “star” point guard Kyrie Irving. The reason for their recent success is Spencer Dinwiddie, who has carried the team on his shoulders, putting up 25.0 PPG since Kyrie Irving got hurt.  

Most Improved Player: Spencer Dinwiddie

  1. Phoenix Suns
    Previous: 13
    Record: 8-10

The Suns seem to be coming back down to earth as they are now just 3-8 in their last 11 games. The Suns acquired Aron Baynes in June, and he has exceeded all expectations, putting up 14.7 PPG and already a career-best 25 three-pointers made this season.  

Most Improved Player: Aron Baynes

  1. Portland Trail Blazers
    Previous: 19
    Record: 8-12

Carmelo is reviving his career and earned Player of the Week as the Trail Blazers got back on track by winning three straight. In his second season, Anfernee Simons has been a key contributor off the bench for Portland, putting up 10.3 PPG after he put up just 3.8 PPG last year.  

Most Improved Player: Anfernee Simons

  1. Sacramento Kings
    Previous: 17
    Record: 8-10

A former member of Philadelphia and Phoenix, Richaun Holmes has made good on the two-year, $9 million contract he signed with Sacramento in the offseason. While other signings such as Cory Joseph and Trevor Ariza have struggled, Holmes has excelled, putting up career-highs in scoring, rebounding, and shooting percentage. 

Most Improved Player: Richaun Holmes

  1. Orlando Magic
    Previous: 16
    Record: 8-11

Despite an underwhelming 8-11 record, the Orlando Magic position themselves as a playoff team through a quarter of the season. In Year 3, Jonathan Isaac has made significant strides, putting up 13.1 PPG and 7.5 RPG while swatting away 2.8 blocks per game this season.  

Most Improved Player: Jonathan Isaac

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder
    Previous: 20
    Record: 8-11

The Thunder had a solid week that was capped off by winning both ends of a home-and-home with the Pelicans. In his second year, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has shown the Thunder why they traded for him, and he is a top candidate for MIP right now. 

Most Improved Player: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

  1. San Antonio Spurs
    Pevious: 21
    Record: 7-14

    Out of every team, the Spurs were one of the toughest to pick a MIP for as they’ve generally been pretty disappointing. Derrick White, however, has continued to play well after a strong 2018-19 season and has upped his three-point percentage to 42.2 this season. 
      Most Improved Player: Derrick White

  2. Memphis Grizzlies
    Previous:23 Record: 6-13

    The Grizzlies may be in trouble in the immediate future with Ja Morant going down with back spasms. It will be up to De’Anthony Melton and Tyus Jones to step up in his absence. Dillon Brooks has looked good coming off season-ending wrist surgery and is putting up 13.4 PPG this season.  

    Most Improved Player: Dillon Brooks

    1. New Orleans Pelicans
      Previous: 18
      Record: 6-14

Now in a change of scenery, Brandon Ingram is proving all of his haters wrong this season. With Zion Williamson out, Ingram has carried the team on his back and is putting up all-star numbers. In my mind, he’s second in the MIP race behind Luka Doncic. 

Most Improved Player: Brandon Ingram

  1. Detroit Pistons Previous:25 Record: 7-13

The Pistons rebounded from back-to-back losses to Charlotte by blowing out the Spurs on Sunday night. The 12th pick in the 2017 draft, Luke Kennard has shown significant improvement and confidence this season as he is putting up 16.9 PPG on 40.3 percent from deep.  

Most Improved Player: Luke Kennard

  1. Charlotte Hornets Previous:24 Record: 8-13

A top-three candidate for MIP, Devonte’ Graham has made drastic improvements in year two for the Hornets. Coming off a season in which he shot 34.1 percent from the field in just 14.7 MPG off the bench, Graham has earned a starting spot and is putting up 18.2 PPG on 41.7 percent from the field and 41.3 percent from deep.   

Most Improved Player: Devonte’ Graham

  1. Chicago Bulls
    Previous: 22
    Record: 6-14

The Bulls also don’t have a great candidate, but I’m going with Wendell Carter, Jr. In his second year out of Duke, the big man has looked more comfortable with the ball, improving his ORtg from 107 to 122 this season. 

Most Improved Player: Wendell Carter, Jr. 

  1. Washington Wizards
    Previous: 27
    Record: 6-12

The Wizards remain one of the most unwatchable teams in the NBA and went just 1-3 last week. Moritz Wagner has been a solid pickup, though, as he is putting up 12.0 PPG and shooting 69.8 percent from two-point range. He leads the NBA with a 68.1 eFG percentage, which adjusts for three-pointers as counting more than two-pointers.   

Most Improved Player: Moritz Wagner

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers
    Previous: 26
    Record: 5-14

The Cavaliers are slumping right now and have gone just 1-9 in their last 10 games. In his ninth NBA season, Tristan Thompson has shown no signs of slowing down as he is putting up career highs in points and rebounds while also adding somewhat of a three-point jump shot.  

Most Improved Player: Tristan Thompson

  1. Golden State Warriors
    Previous: 29
    Record: 4-17

With all their injuries, the Warriors haven’t had one outlying MIP candidate, but rather several G-league players who score because someone has to be able to put the ball in the hoop. Glenn Robinson III seems to have found a home in the NBA as he is putting up career-highs in scoring and rebounding this season, although those numbers mainly stem from his more significant opportunity to play.  

Most Improved Player: Glenn Robinson III

  1. Atlanta Hawks
    Previous: 28
    Record: 4-16

The Hawks continue to struggle without John Collins as they have dropped 10 straight games following a hot start. Trae Young, however, has been nothing short of amazing, putting up 28.4 PPG and possibly earning himself an all-star appearance in a feeble Eastern Conference.  

Most Improved Player: Trae Young

  1. New York Knicks
    Previous: 30
    Record: 4-16

The Knicks earn the bottom spot on the ranking for the fifth week in a row as they have dropped six consecutive games. Marcus Morris, Sr. has been the best pickup for the Knicks this season, putting up a career-best 18.7 PPG and shooting a ridiculous 52.4 percent from behind the arc.  

Most Improved Player: Marcus Morris, Sr.



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