In 1969, Wes Unseld of the Baltimore Bullets won both the NBA Rookie of the Year and the NBA Most Valuable Player award in the same season. The only certain reason Blake Griffin will not duplicate that feat is MVP voter bias. If MVP voters voted strictly upon each player’s true “value” to his team, meaning his impact on his team’s wins produced, Griffin looks like a strong early candidate for MVP.
Last night in his debut against a very long and very talented Portland Trailblazer team, Blake Griffin posted a Marginal Win Score per 48 of +4.97, while playing nearly 39 minutes. That translates into an astounding Win Contribution debut of +0.807. Last season my MWS48 “MVP”, Orlando C Dwight Howard, posted a Win Contribution of +0.830. The season before that, LeBron James was the MWS48 “MVP” with a Win Contribution of +0.913. Yes, those were posted over the course of a full season, while Griffin posted his number in one night. But Griffin is off to a good start.
I’m generally not one to overreact like this. But this kid makes you take notice. He is taking on the basketball world like Joe Louis took on the boxing world when he came roaring out of the Motor City during the Great Depression. Erasin’ fools and knockin’ suckers cold.
Blake Griffin is putting up ridiculous numbers night in and night out, and he’s doing it almost with ease.* Its almost like you can pencil him in for 20 points and 15 rebounds along with an extremely high eFG%. Its uncanny how productive this kid has been. And you know for sure that on the Los Angeles Clippers he will get large minutes. So even though it is only the third day of the season, barring injury I fully expect Griffin to be on my top 5 most valuable players in the NBA when this season is over… maybe even number one!
As Professor Berri pointed out a couple of days ago on the WoW Journal, Blake Griffin may be the best NBA rookie in a generation. So far it certainly looks like it.
*: Obviously, I was considering the exhibition season when I made that statement.