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Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler emerged as one of the leagues “next big thing’s” in 2014-15. Butler went from averaging 13.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game to 20.0 points, 3.3 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game this season.
With Derrick Rose out again for majority of the season, it was Butler who held it down for the Bulls and helped them earn a high seed in the East. He gave this team a new identity and has folks saying his name when the current Bulls-Cavs Eastern Conference Semi-Finals matchup is discussed.
Butler’s highlight of the season was when he earned his first All-Star selection in February.
The Chicago Bulls’ Jimmy Butler, who earned his first All-Star selection and set career highs in scoring, rebounding and assists, has won the 2014-15 Kia NBA Most Improved Player Award, the NBA announced today. Butler becomes the first player to win the award with the Bulls.
The award is designed to honor an up-and-coming player who has made a dramatic improvement from the previous season or seasons. Butler, 25, received 92 of 129 first-place votes and 535 total points from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors (11 first-place votes, 200 points) and Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz (12 first-place votes, 189 points) 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.