At a press conference Friday afternoon, the NBA named Magic Power Forward Ryan Anderson the Most Improved Player.
Anderson averaged 16.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game while leading the league in both three-pointers made and three-pointers attempted.
Here is the official press release:
Anderson Becomes Fifth Magic Player to earn Honor Since 1986
NEW YORK, May 4, 2012 – Ryan Anderson of the Orlando Magic is the winner of the 2011-12 Kia NBA Most Improved Player Award, the NBA announced today. The annual award is presented to a player who has made a significant improvement from the previous season.
Anderson received 260 of a possible 605 points, including 33 first-place votes, from a panel of 121 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Ersan Ilyasova of the Milwaukee Bucks (159 points, 21 first-place votes) and Nikola Pekovic of the Minnesota Timberwolves (104 points, 10 first-place votes) finished second and third, respectively. Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third place vote received.
Anderson established career highs in scoring (16.1 ppg), rebounds (7.7 rpg), field goal percentage (.439) and free throw percentage. He also paced the league and established personal bests in three-pointers made (166) and attempted (422). He increased his scoring from the previous season by 5.5 ppg and his rebounds by 2.2 rpg. Orlando averaged 107.5 points per 100 possessions with Anderson on the court, compared to 94.1 points with the 6-10 forward on the bench.
As part of its support of the Most Improved Player Award, Kia Motors America will donate a new Kia Sorento CUV on behalf of Anderson to the Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida. Kia Motors will present a brand new Sorento to the charity of choice of each of five 2011-12 year-end award winners as part of the “The Kia NBA Performance Awards.” Following this season, Kia Motors will have donated a total of 21 new vehicles to charitable organizations since its support of the NBA’s prestigious year-end honors began with the 2007-2008 season.
The 2011-12 Kia NBA Most Improved Player Award is part of a series of on-court performance awards called “The Kia NBA Performance Awards.” The series, currently in its fifth season, is a significant part of the multiyear marketing partnership between Kia Motors America and the NBA, and also includes the Defensive Player, Sixth Man, Most Valuable Player of the Year Awards, and this year for the first time, Rookie of the Year. It also includes the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month which are awarded during the regular season. For more information on the “The Kia NBA Performance Awards” visit www.NBA.com/performanceawards.
(Andrew Melnick is the ESPNFlorida.com Magic and NBA Insider, co-host of the ESPN 1080 Insiders Show and publisher of Howard the Dunk. The Insiders Show can be heard Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST on AM 1080 in Orlando and on ESPNFlorida.com. You can follow Andrew on twitter here.)