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Blake Griffin’s MVP case

Posted by mvetack on January 20, 2011

No I am not confusing the MVP award for the Rookie of the Year award, Blake has already wrapped that one up.  I am indeed talking about the league’s Most Valuable Player going to the Rookie for the Clippers.  I know every part of that sentence does not have to try at all to be wrong but let me prove to you that you should at least think about it for a minute.

First off Stats

The first thing you look at in a box score, after who won the game, is probably the leading scorer or the compelling player’s stat lines.  Did Kobe go for 50?  Did Rondo reach 20 assists?  Did Kevin Love get another 30 30?  Stats are one of the biggest indicators of how valuable a player is.  It is not the only thing but it is a big and accepted way of evaluating players.

At exactly the half way point for the Clippers, Blake Griffin has played in and started 41 of his team’s 41 games.

PTS – 22.7 – Good for 12th in the league

REB – 12.7 – Good for 4th in the league

AST – 3.4 – Good for tied for 55th with the likes of Paul Pierce and Lou Williams

BLK – .63 – Good for tied for 91st with Derrick Favors

Double Doubles – 33 – Good for 2nd in the league

To highlight his MVP worthy numbers…

22.7 – 12.7 – 3.4

News and Notes

Blake Griffin has surpassed 40 points twice on the season including a league high 47 points in a game vs the Pacers this week.

Griffin had a 14 game 20 and 10 streak end to the Lakers in a 18 point 15 rebound victory over the Lakers.

Blake just had his 27 game double double streak end to the Timberwolves with a 29 point 8 rebound 6 assist win.

Blake is Trending

One of the biggest stats Blake Griffin has going for him is just how quick he is improving during his rookie year.  Check out his per game stats by month and how every one of them is trending upward.

Points – 16.7 – 20.9 – 23.0 – 27.8

Boards – 11.0 – 11.7 – 13.5 – 13.6

Assists – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.9 – 4.3

Blake is showing that his ceiling is limitless.  In just his first season of NBA action, Blake is making improvements in just a couple of months that most times take big men that first enter the league a couple seasons.  And it is not just the numbers that are improving,  its how hes getting to those numbers.  It is not just dunk after dunk, oop after oop, fast break after fast break that is getting his points.  He is starting to use more than just his athleticism to get to the basket and to rebounds.  His spin move rivals Dwight Freeney’s of the NFL,  he can handle the ball up and down the court like no other big man, and he has court vision and touch on the ball that just should not be allowed at his size.  His mid range game is not great but it has definitely improved.  In his 47 point night vs the Pacers, Blake scored just two points on dunks while knocking down 82 percent of his free throws.

Human Highlight

Apart from the stats and always improving game, Blake Griffin has the Clipper more than just a watchable team.  They are now a must watch team for NBA fans and at times leading SportsCenter on a weekly basis.  Every single night he has a highlight or two that you have to send a link to all your friends.  The Clippers have always been second fiddle to their arena mates in the LA Lakers.  In fact, they have often been 4th fiddle in LA when the circus comes to town and USC is playing football.  Blake is trying to change that.  I’m not saying the Clippers are on the same level or close to the same level as Kobe and his Lakers (Despite Blake leading his Clips to a victory in their latest meeting), but for stretches they  are my choice in team to watch in LA.

Winning Games

Besides the highlights and fall off your couch moments Blake brings on a nightly basis, he has the Clippers winning games.  Two seasons ago the Clippers won a total of 19 games followed by just 29 last season.  With Chris Kaman on the shelf for most of the season, Blake has his Clippers at 16 wins at the half way point and on pace for the teams most victories since the 2006 season.  Measuring the value of a new player on a team can be as easy as the win loss difference since the player joins the squad.  Blake is certainly impacting the win column for the “other” team in LA.

Former MVPs

The Last two traditional Big men to win the MVP were Kevin Garnett of the Timberwolves in the 2003-2004 season and Tim Duncan in the 2002-2003 season.  Here is a comparison of Garnett, Duncan, and Griffin’s stats

Garnett – 24.2 pts – 13.9 reb – 5.0 ast

Duncan – 23.3 pts – 12.9 reb – 3.9 ast

Griffin – 22.7 pts 12.7 reb – 3.4 ast

As you can see his stats are just about where Duncan and Garnett’s were during their MVP seasons.  With Blake’s game and stats trending upward,  it’s not crazy to expect his season averages to close in on these two MVP seasons b two future hall of famers.  I know the Clippers are not going to sniff the Finals and probably won’t even have a view of the playoffs, but the Clippers are improving and Blake is a huge reason why.

Griffin is putting up MVP stats, has a buzz around him and his team on a nightly basis, and most importantly is bringing wins to LA.

Now, will you at least think about Blake next time you and your friends argue about who is the NBA’s MVP?

 

Stats and info found at basketball-reference.com

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