So far this season, Indiana Pacer’s guard Victor Oladipo is the clear front-runner for the Most Improved player award. Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics), Aaron Gordon (Orlando Magic), Brandon Ingram (Los Angeles Lakers), Clint Capela (Houston Rockets), Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kristaps Porzingis (New York Knicks), Jamal Murray (Denver Nuggets), and Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns) are other names that are in the discussion. But the one player that isn’t talking about is forward Rondae Hollis- Jefferson of the Brooklyn Nets.
Before this season, Hollis-Jefferson was only known as an elite defender but he worked really hard this offseason and turned himself into a complete player. In 43 games (42 starts), the third-year forward is averaging 14.5 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists on 47.3 percent shooting (25% from three), and 79.6 free throw percentage in 28.6 minutes, all career-highs plus seventh double-double. So far, this season the small forward has hit the 20-point mark seven times. In his first two seasons, he scored only twenty points twice.
In 2017, Hollis-Jefferson achieved a career best in blocks (4) on Feb 7, minutes played (39) on November 10, free throw made (11) and attempts (12) on Nov 11, points (25) on Dec, 14, field goal made (10) and attempted (21) on Dec 31, 2017. So far in 2018 he had a career in rebounds (17) on Jan 8 and assists (7) on Jan 13.
Jefferson’s doesn’t compare to Oladipo (24.3 points, 1.9 steals, 4 assists, and 5.3 rebounds), Gordon (18.6 points, 2.1 assists, and 8.0 rebounds) but despite his numbers not being as eye-popping as other candidates for the most improved player award, the Net’s forward should get some serious consideration for the most improved player award, this season.
The former Arizona standout told the netsdaily.com in Dec, 2017 that one of the key factors in the improvement in his game is self-confidence,
“I just feel like it’s my whole confidence, man,” said Hollis-Jefferson with his trademark smile. “The way I approach the game. The way I talk about it, the way I’m just, I’m in it. I feel like more so than last year, this summer I just put in a lot of work and I dedicated myself to it.”
“I’m going to continue to walk with this confidence and talk with it.”