Clippers: J.J. Redick thinks Blake Griffin is MVP bound


Mar 29, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) and guard J.J. Redick (4) react after a play against the Boston Celtics in the second half at TD Garden. The Clippers defeated the Celtics 119-106. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Not only does J.J. Redick think Blake Griffin will win an MVP award some day, he also thinks he’ll be one of the best power forwards in NBA history. It’s high praise, but it’s more than justified. Every single season Griffin has improved his game since starting his career with the Los Angeles Clippers as an All-Star rookie in 2010. From high flying dunks to a vastly improved post-game and passing ability, Griffin continues to rise even further.

So, is a MVP award in his future? There’s no way to deny the possibility is going to be around for years yet.

In a recent Q&A with Sports Illustrated, Redick discussed numerous topics. He changed his offseason rating from it’s original “F” (when the Clippers thought they lost DeAndre Jordan) to an “A”, talked about his favorite times in China, and why the Clippers’ new owner Steve Ballmer will be recognized as one of the best owners in sports in 10-15 years. Essentially, the Q&A offered insight into multiple topics and it’s well worth your time.

One topic of discussion that has to be mentioned immediately, though, is that Redick still doesn’t think Griffin’s development is over. Yet, for anyone who knows basketball, how could you?

This is what Redick had to say:

" Blake Griffin has already done so much in the league, and he’s only 26. Where do you think his game goes from here?Redick: “He’s a very unique player, in terms of his ability to get to the rim, make midrange shots, handle the ball, pass out of double-teams, pass in transition and make reads on the fly. It seems like he’s taken a step forward in his game every year, so where he’s going to go? I have no idea. He’s a top-5 player, MVP level? Yeah, probably at some point in his career he’ll win an MVP and he’ll go down as one of the greatest power forwards ever. And if he wins, that certainly will happen.”"

The only thing standing in Griffin’s way when it comes to winning an MVP is the obvious amount of competition. The amount of incredible competition. From the constant MVP threat that is LeBron James, to one-time winner in Kevin Durant, rising candidates such as James Harden and Anthony Davis, to the reigning title holder Stephen Curry, there’s a lot of guys standing it Blake’s way. Even his own point guard Chris Paul is a worthy candidate each year.

However, despite the competition to be crowned MVP, Griffin is going to keep doing everything he can to be the best player possible.

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In his rookie season, Griffin took 40.8 percent of his shots within three feet of the basket, making a career high 214 dunks in the year. He averaged 3.8 assists and 12.1 rebounds per game, but was still regarded as a player who largely relied on his athleticism to make a difference. Now, four seasons later, Griffin has developed his game immensely. He only attempted 32.8 percent of his shots within three feet and made just 84 dunks, while increasing his percentage of 16 foot attempts from 15.4 in his rookie year to 37.8 last season. If that wasn’t enough, he also made a career best 40.4 percent of them.

With his improved post-up game, ball handling, 5.3 assists per game, and the ability to run an offense either in the half court or in transition, Griffin can do more than most power forwards the league has ever seen. The one aspect of his game that does still need improving, though, is his defense. But with a tireless attitude to develop, we may see that change a little further over the next year.

If the Clippers can indeed prove themselves as serious contenders with their new talent and depth this season, maybe Griffin can start putting the league on alert that he’ll be a top candidate to become an MVP within the near future. MVP or not, though, Griffin still has one of the most diverse and complete skillsets of any power forward in NBA history.

So, can he really go down as one of the greatest power forwards ever? Of course he can.

Next: What the Clippers' preseason says about the upcoming season