Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Win: Kevin Durant (1-1)
Place: LeBron James (2-1)
Show: Blake Griffin (10-1)
As J.A. Adande wrote for ESPN on March 10, Blake Griffin is right in the thick of the MVP conversation:
Save a spot at the Most Valuable Player table for Blake Griffin. Right now he's still sitting with the rest of the audience, not up on the dais with Kevin Durant and LeBron James, but that changes if Griffin somehow gets the Los Angeles Clippers to the best record in the NBA. Then he would deserve to be the one making an acceptance speech.
Since then, Griffin has steered the Los Angeles Clippers to three more wins and a single loss, which came against the Denver Nuggets. During those four games, he's averaged 24.3 points, 10.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists per contest, though a 7-of-25 outing versus Denver is depressing his shooting percentage.
Just as has been the case throughout the season, Griffin has excelled, and he's forced Doc Rivers into running the LAC offense through him—not Chris Paul.
But the MVP conversation includes Griffin, who is just barely holding off Joakim Noah for the No. 3 spot. The MVP race really doesn't, as you can probably tell from the odds up above.
Hell, even Blake himself admits that.
"Naw, I think the MVP race is a two-man race," Griffin told the assembled media after the loss on the road against the Nuggets, via Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
Hmm....who could he have been referring to?
LeBron James and Kevin Durant continue to pace this race, but Durant quite clearly holds the edge at this stage of the season.
Even though 1-1 and 2-1 odds don't seem very different, there's a large gap between the two. The former—even odds—gives Durant a 50 percent chance of winning; the latter means LeBron's chances are now down to 33.3 percent.
K.D. just won't slow down.
Over his last five games, the Durantula has averaged 32.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.6 assists per contest while shooting 47.5 percent from the field, 50 percent beyond the arc and 83.6 percent at the stripe.
Meanwhile, LeBron has been relatively unmotivated, and his lackluster play while re-adjusting to a dominant Dwyane Wade's presence in the lineup hasn't allowed him to spur the Miami Heat into the No. 1 spot in their conference.
It's not too late for LeBron to make a charge, but he's running out of time.