The race for the MVP title this season is a close one, a very close one. The two obvious favorites are LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Those two megastars have been recording tremendous outputs this season. However, there is one more superstar who is playing like an MVP, who has dramatically improved his production and efficiency from last season and he is a candidate for the MVP award. That’s no other than Blake Griffin.
First of all, Griffin has been playing in a great level all season long, much like the entire Los Angeles Clippers have been doing. The presence of Doc Rivers at the team’s bench meant a big change for Lob City. Discipline and more effort on defense are two new facts that were missing from the Clips’ style of play last year. Griffin also looks like a different, a more mature player right now with Doc Rivers guiding him.
This season, he is putting up numbers above his career-averages. The dominant power forward is averaging a team-best 24.4 points per contest to go along with 9.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 53.9 percent from the field. He has even hit some threes. Griffin is the main wheel for the Clippers on the offensive end. In most possessions the ball runs through him. But even when it doesn’t Blake Griffin contributes by setting great screens or by drawing the attention from the opposing defense. Griffin has improved his mid-range shot significantly and he has also managed to shoot better from the charity stripe. Of course, he continues to be a great rebounder and shot blocker. His defense still isn’t at a world-class level, but he has seen some improvement there, too.
Up to now, Blake Griffin was arguably the most spectacular player in the league. Now, he is also one of the best ones. He is currently considered as the best power forward in the NBA and his performance every night shows why.
When the Los Angeles Clippers needed him to step up and take the team on his shoulders, he responded to the call. With Chris Paul out for an extended time, Griffin really took his performance to the next level. He emerged as the true leader of the team and he managed to lead the Clips to some significant wins. It’s notable that LA didn’t drop in the Western Conference rankings despite Paul’s absence.
Of course, the competition for Blake Griffin is huge. It will be almost impossible for him to reach the monster seasons LeBron and Durant are recording. Those two have been simply playing to a whole different level. But if there is one player who could threaten them this season, that is Blake Griffin. Stephen Curry could also be in the discussion.
Griffin has been instrumental in the Clippers recent run of a nine game win streak. On Monday night, Griffin became just the third player in NBA history to tally 6,000 points, 3,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists before the end of his fourth season while shooting 50.0 percent or better. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Charles Barkley, Blake Griffin and that’s it.
Why Blake won’t win MVP? One reason…the Clippers! The local community college team gets more respect then them. They play home games on what is considered the Lakers home court no matter what, Lakers Home Venue and Lakers City. Just ask any Lakers fan. Although they have been gaining respect little by little over the last four years and Clippers ticket prices have slightly increased they are always in the shadow of the Lakers and might not ever come out of it. Blake and Lob City are like the Cleveland Browns they don’t get the NBA spotlight on Sunday’s they don’t make page on of USA Today even though Blake has some of the best dunks of all time just ask Kim Kardashian’s ex husband. When you mention the Clippers to NBA fans they look at you like your insane talking about them. Would Blake winning MVP bring instant credibility to the Clippers and Clippers Nation? I don’t think so but to not be mentioned in the MVP talk for his numbers this season is showing what lack of respect Blake and the Clipper Nation actually get.
I am not saying throw your Kobe or Lakers Jerseys away or the Clippers deserve the respect that the Lakers, Celtics, Miami Heat or Spurs deserve or even Tim Duncan or Dirk Nowitzki but Blake is only in his fourth year and has helped turned the once a joke Clippers into a legit NBA Championship contender and is mentioned in the same breath as one of the greatest to ever play the game in only four years he deserves a second look for MVP this season. Chris Michaels