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PBT Awards: Most Improved Player

Atlanta Hawks v Indiana Pacers

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 23: Victor Oladipo #4 of the Indiana Pacers dribbles the ball against the Atlanta Hawks during the game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on February 23, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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Kurt Helin

1. Victor Oladipo, Pacers

2. Spencer Dinwiddie, Nets

3. Julius Randle, Lakers

This was a runaway for the top spot, Oladipo is the clear choice (the only question in the final balloting will be is it unanimous). Oladipo took on a much heavier offensive load and yet was far more efficient doing so, plus he had an All-Defensive-team-level season on the other end. There were a number of other guys in the running the last two slots — just like with Sixth Man, it was tough to leave Fred VanVleet off — but Dinwiddie proved he is a solid NBA point guard with his step forward this season in Brooklyn, and Randle learned how to play to his strengths in Los Angeles and that is going to earn him a massive payday this summer.

Dan Feldman

1. Victor Oladipo, Pacers

2. Dario Saric, 76ers

3. Fred VanVleet, Raptors

Victor Oladipo turned himself from an uninspiring starter into a star. He got into great shape, developed his 3-pointer and seized control of a seemingly directionless Pacers team. Oladipo became even more efficient while also shouldering a larger load – the ideal 1-2 for a Most Improved Player. Dario Saric got so much better in precisely the ways the 76ers – specifically, Ben Simmons – needed. Saric gets extra credit for hitting that narrow target. Mere general improvement wouldn’t have had nearly the same effect. Fred VanVleet was barely in the NBA last season. This year, he’s leading the NBA’s best bench.