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Blake Griffin throwing his name in the MVP race

by Erik Horne Published: March 13, 2014
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It’s something that’s rarely, if ever, come up in the midst of KD vs. LeBron, but Blake Griffin is making an MVP push.

The Los Angeles Clippers have won nine games in a row and are the hottest team in the NBA, and Griffin is playing the best basketball of his career.

And the talk of Griffin being one-dimensional — only a dunker — well, that’s over:

Kirk Goldsberry of Grantland.com put together this piece on the evolution of Griffin, saying that the former Sooner has matured into the most devastating power forward in the NBA (check out the chart above to see how much Griffin’s shot patterns have changed in four seasons.)

The piece talks about the growth of Griffin from his OU days to now, saying Griffin has grown into more of a playmaker. From Goldsberry:

“In the Del Negro administration, Griffin was basically a post-up player and a screener on pick-and-rolls. But this season, Griffin’s role is more diverse.”

What hasn’t changed is Griffin’s propensity to get into a scrum. Monday night, Griffin was involved in another scuffle, this time with P.J. Tucker of the Phoenix Suns. It was really as close as the Suns came to stopping Griffin, who scored 37 points of 14-of-16 shooting before fouling out. He also was confronted outside the locker room by Golden State’s Jermaine O’Neal following the Clippers’ 111-98 win on Wednesday.

He’s been one of the most efficient players in the league (10th in NBA in Player Efficiency Rating, 23.99) despite taking Shaq-in-his-prime-esque abuse.

“Blake gets hit as much as anybody in the league and I think we’ve all seen it. It gets old,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said after Monday’s game.

And Charles Barkley called the Clippers the best team in the West – “the Clippers and the Oklahoma City Thunder…in that order,” he said.

A lot of that has to do with Griffin, who reached a ridiculous milestone on Wednesday — becoming only the third player in NBA history to accumulate 6,000 points, 3,000 rebounds, 1,000 assists and shoot 50-percent from the field before the end of his fourth season.

The other two guys? The aforementioned Barkley and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Both MVPs.

by Erik Horne
Online Sports Editor
Erik Horne joined The Oklahoman as a sports web editor/producer in September 2013, following a five-year stint at The Ardmoreite (Ardmore) – first as a sports writer, then sports editor. At The Ardmoreite, Horne reported on everything from prep...
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