This year’s Most Improved Player award should go to Desmond Bane, and Ja Morant has given him the credit he also deserves.
Morant presented Bane with the award he had just received as this season’s MIP on Monday.
Bane, who received only 5% of the vote, was overjoyed when the trophy was delivered to his house, where he was shocked to find it.
— Desmond Bane (@DBane0625) April 26, 2022
While Morant had a breakout year, averaging a career-high 27.4 points, a career-high 5.7 rebounds, and a career-high 6.7 assists in 33 minutes, it’s impossible to ignore Bane’s equally impressive growth.
After making his NBA debut as the final first-round choice of the 2020 NBA Draft, the second-year pro had a tremendous season, leading the team in scoring with 18.2 points per game, as well as rebounding and assists.
He improved significantly from his rookie season, when he averaged 9.2, 3.1, and 1.7% on the court. Bane is now a much more complete player on the court.
Both Morant and Bane were key players in the Memphis Grizzlies’ rapid ascension to the second seed in the Western Conference this season, with a 56-26 record.