Doc Rivers Says Blake Griffin Should Be 2nd to Kevin Durant in MVP Voting

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 2014

April 6, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) grabs a rebound against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With the regular season winding down, it shouldn't come as a surprise that there's unanimous agreement among the NBA populous backing Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant for MVP. 

But according to Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, the race for second place is still very much up for grabs.

Although a consensus seems to exist that LeBron James should be the runner-up behind Durant, Rivers lobbied for Blake Griffin's candidacy prior to Wednesday night's clash with the Thunder, according to USA Today's Sam Amick: 

Rivers also made it clear that while he believes Durant has earned top honors, the league's reigning MVP is still the the most talented player the Association has to offer:

Now that's hardly breaking news, but it's also worth noting that James praised Durant in a similar way prior to the Miami Heat's 107-102 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies

"I would say he's the most consistent basketball player as far as MVP this year," James said, according to the Miami Herald's Joseph Goodman. "He has put up some great numbers." 

But back to the debate at hand: Should Griffin really garner second-place MVP votes over LeBron?

According to Bleacher Report's Fred Katz, Griffin has put together a tremendous campaign, but the fact remains that he's locked in a battle with Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah for third-place honors. 

But as Katz explained, Griffin's versatility has made this a conversation worth having: 

The types of shots Griffin gets are such high-percentage looks that they help him become one of the most efficient players in the NBA. Add in everything elsethe passing, athleticism, rebounding, improved defenseand Noah's Defensive Player of the Year case doesn't close the gap enough to overtake the Clippers forward.

Blake Griffin has been the third-best player in the NBA during this season, and here's the scary part: He's only going to get better.

And if we go to the numbers, it becomes crystal clear that LeBron is a mortal lock to top Griffin in the final vote.  

Tale of the Tape: Blake Griffin vs. LeBron James
Blake Griffin24.09.63.852.827.523.8
LeBron James26.96.96.556.837.229.2

The transformation we've seen Griffin make into a multidimensional offensive weapon who excels in transition and the half court has been spectacular, but James' efficiency on a night-to-night basis is simply too good to ignore. 

With the fourth-highest field-goal percentage among all players and the only wing to rank among the top eight in the category, LeBron continues to redefine efficiency standards with his calculated yet wildly effective style of play. 

The good news for Griffin? With four All-Star selections under his belt at just 25 years old, the Clippers' offensive centerpiece is just starting to scratch the surface of his offensive potential.