Utah Jazz star Lauri Markkanen may not be focusing on winning the Most Improved Player of the Year Award, but the honor is serving as a bit of extra motivation as he continues to embark on a career-best season.
Markkanen has established himself as the franchise player in Utah thanks to an unexpected season in which he made the All-Star team as a starter, and leading the rebuilding Jazz to a surprising 32-35 record on the season thus far.
“That’s some extra motivation, but I’m not thinking about it. I talked about the responsibility, and I’m enjoying the challenge, and if those individual goals happen if we keep winning games and I keep doing my thing. I go daily to keep working, and I hope that happens, but we’ll see,” Markkanen said, according to Eurohoops. “Just try to get these wins together and keep going from there. Still, obviously, it would be a cool trophy to have at home, but that’s not the main goal right now,” Markkanen said.
The Jazz will have quite the rough road ahead of them as they have the toughest schedule in the league down the stretch run of the regular season, according to Tankathon.
Regardless, the Jazz have a cornerstone player to build around in Markkanen as they look to retool for another run in the Western Conference.