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NBA notes: Suns’ Dragic honored as Most Improved Player
NBA notes » Sun who thrived in Hornacek’s 2-point-guard system named most improved.
First Published Apr 23 2014 06:17 pm • Last Updated Apr 23 2014 06:25 pm

Goran Dragic, whose breakout season helped the Phoenix Suns make a remarkable transformation, has been named the NBA’s most improved player.

The 6-foot-3 Slovenian, who turns 28 in two weeks, flourished under first-year coach Jeff Hornacek’s double-point guard system, teaming with Eric Bledsoe to form a dynamic backcourt.

At a glance

NBA Most Improved Player voting

(Selected by a panel of 126 sportswriters and broadcasters)

Player, Team 1st 2nd 3rd Total

Goran Dragic, Pho 65 25 8 408

Lance Stephenson, Ind 13 24 21 158

Anthony Davis, NO 16 21 12 155

Gerald Green, Pho 16 7 16 117

DeAndre Jordan, LAC 4 13 7 66

Kyle Lowry, Tor 2 8 9 43

Blake Griffin, LAC 6 1 6 39

DeMar DeRozan, Tor 1 4 11 28

Patty Mills, SA - 4 2 14

Markieff Morris, Pho 1 1 5 13

Isaiah Thomas, Sac - 3 4 13

Shaun Livingston, Brk - 2 5 11

D.J. Augustin, Chi 1 - 4 9

Reggie Jackson, OKC - 1 5 8

Robin Lopez, Por - 1 3 6

Klay Thompson, GS - 2 - 6

DeMarcus Cousins, Sac - 1 2 5

Kevin Durant, OKC 1 - - 5

Al Jefferson, Cha - 1 1 4

Bradley Beal, Was - 1 - 3

Mike Conley, Mem - 1 - 3

Andre Drummond, Det - 1 - 3

Taj Gibson, Chi - 1 - 3

LeBron James, Mia - 1 - 3

Terrence Jones, Hou - 1 - 3

Jodie Meeks, LAL - 1 - 3

LaMarcus Aldridge, Por - - 1 1

Alec Burks, Utah - - 1 1

Paul Millsap, Atl - - 1 1

Chandler Parsons, Hou - - 1 1

John Wall, Was - - 1 1

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Dragic averaged 20.5 points and 5.9 assists per game, and was the only NBA player to shoot better than 50 percent from the field (50.5) and 40 percent from 3-point range (40.8).

Dragic received 408 of 1,134 points, including 65 first-place votes, from a panel of 126 sports writers and broadcasters in the U.S. and Canada. Indiana’s Lance Stephenson was second with 158 points and 13 first-place votes, and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis was third with 155 points and 16 first-place votes.

Jazz guard Alec Burks received a third-place vote. Two others who played for Utah last season also received votes: Charlotte’s Al Jefferson got a second- and a third-place vote, and Atlanta’s Paul Millsap picked up a third-place vote.

Jackson: I won’t be coaching the Knicks

The coaching search is on in New York, and the best possible candidate has already been eliminated.

Phil Jackson won’t hire himself to coach the Knicks.

Two days after firing Mike Woodson, Jackson reiterated Wednesday that he won’t be returning to the bench, despite the fact that even fiancee Jeanie Buss told him he should. Jackson, who retired from coaching in 2011 after winning an NBA-record 11 titles, said his body isn’t up to doing the job.


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So the new team president said he’s looking for a leader with the personality and charisma to succeed in New York. He hopes to talk with Steve Kerr, the TNT analyst frequently mentioned as the leading candidate, sometime within the next month. Kerr played for Jackson in Chicago.

Heat commit to Miami through 2040

Saying they reaffirm the team’s commitment to the city, the Miami Heat announced Wednesday night that they have agreed to extend their partnership with Miami-Dade County another 10 years, through 2040.

The deal is still subject to approval by the county’s commissioners, with a vote possible May 6.



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