Gerald Wallace - Charlotte Bobcats
Most Improved Player

2005-06:
Named NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Nov. 28 ... Leads the NBA in steals, ranked fourth in field goal percentage and 11th in blocks ... Only player in the NBA averaging two blocks and two steals ... Since the NBA began recording blocked shots officially in 1973, only two players have finished the season averaging more than 2.0 steals and 2.0 blocked shots: Hakeem Olajuwon (three times) and David Robinson, both of whom played the center position.

Our take:
When Gerald Wallace was selected in the 2004 expansion draft, we were told that he had untapped potential and could see a marked improvement upon his arrival in Charlotte. His numbers certainly took a huge leap in '04-05, but this year we've seen Wallace become a complete player. He has been asked to step up in the absence of several of his teammates and he has answered the call, no longer just relying on his athleticism, but knowing what it takes to be successful in this league.
-- John Schuhmann

From the coach:
We've put him in a different scenario and he has excelled in it. His work ethic has been great. He's had to do everything for us recently, because of our rebounders being out. He's got to be our anchor on defense blocking shots. He's our go-to guy on the block. And here's a guy playing with flak jacket on because he's all beat up, but you can't keep him off the court.
-- Bernie Bickerstaff

A fan's take:
I think Gerald Wallace has been amazing this season. His numbers are improved in every statistical category except for free throw percentage. He leads the league in steals per game and is 11th in blocks per game. Keep in mind this guy is only 6-7. He has improved greatly this year and he's only going be getting better and better. Watch out for this guy next year.
-- Shaun - Sacramento, Cal.

The Numbers:
G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
2004-05 70 30.7 11.1 5.5 2.0 1.67 1.30 .449 .274 .661
2005-06 53 34.7 15.5 7.5 1.7 2.47 2.08 .537 .280 .617

Most Improved Player - The Candidates:
Boris Diaw - Phoenix Suns
Mike James - Toronto Raptors
Mehmet Okur - Utah Jazz
Gerald Wallace - Charlotte Bobcats
David West - New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets

Others worth consideration: Carmelo Anthony, Raja Bell, Chris Bosh, Dwight Howard, Joe Johnson, Chris Kaman, Nenad Krstic, Kevin Martin, Zaza Pachulia, Smush Parker, Tony Parker, Delonte West

MAKING THE CASE FOR ...
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