Is Ryan Anderson the Most Improved Player?
We saw the early signs in New Jersey, but so many players drift away. We saw it his first year in Orlando, but the system has produced a lot of quality scorers. But what Ryan Anderson has done this season in Orlando deserves significant recognition.
On Monday, Anderson dropped a career high 30 points on 13 shots along with 7 rebounds in the Magic’s 102-93 win over theKnicks in Madison Square Garden. After the game, Anderson was demonstrably humble, saying essentially that he was just open. And he’s right. He was. But that has value in this league.
Anderson has been knocking down perimeter shots all season thanks to the attention paid to Dwight Howard down low. That’s the model for what the Magic want to do, better or worse. And when you have a shooter as hot as Anderson right now, it makes it extremely difficult to stop. The Knicks have a huge, tough center inside in Tyson Chandler to attack Dwight Howard, and the Knicks gameplanned to stop him. He scored just eight points. But when you open up opportunities for the Magic’s supporting players, and they’re ready to contribute instead of, say, Vince Carter, the Magic are still a deadly team.