NBA Awards: If Blake Griffin Gets The Clippers to The Playoffs, MVP Could Be His

Andy BaileyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 12:  Baron Davis #5, Eric Gordon #10 and Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers react after a foul during the game against the Miami Heat at the Staples Center on January 12, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

If Blake Griffin continues to progress and perform the way he has the last couple months, he may not only win Rookie of the Year, but the league's Most Valuable Player award as well.

Typically, the NBA's top individual honor goes to a player who has an enormous impact on one of the top teams in the league.

Putting up big numbers is not enough however, as MVP voters are looking for a player who is also a leader on a successful team.

If the Los Angeles Clippers' second 41 games mirror the results of their first 41, they'll finish the season at 32-50 and miss the playoffs. In that scenario, Blake will almost certainly still take home the Rookie of the Year Award, but he won't even sniff the MVP.

However, the Clippers' 16-25 first half of the season was largely a product of a very slow start.  

At the beginning of the year, Baron Davis was unmotivated and the Clippers seemed content with the culture of losing that has surrounded the franchise for decades.

That is, most of the Clippers.

There are two young stars on this team that simply won't let Davis and the rest of the team maintain the status quo.

Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon have injected a level of excitement that may be unprecedented for this franchise.

The biggest catalyst in this mini-revolution is the rookie Blake Griffin.

His energy and work ethic have inspired former All-Star Baron Davis. That in itself, should get people thinking he deserves recognition outside the Rookie of the Year race.

The recently motivated Clippers led by Griffin, Gordon and Davis, are 12-5 in their last 17 games. If they maintain that pace for the rest of the year, they'll finish above .500 and have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs.

If they get in, Griffin will officially be an MVP contender.

His intangible quality to rally the troops would be a key point for anyone calling Blake a legitimate MVP candidate.

However, there will be a statistical argument on his side as well.

Griffin still has a lot of room to improve, and he's already been arguably the best player in the league during the month of January. In 10 games this month, he is averaging 27.2 points, 14.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game.

If he continues to improve, or even maintains the pace he's been on for the last couple months, he could end the season at well over 24 points and 13 rebounds per game.

If everything comes together perfectly for Blake Griffin and the Clippers, he could very well be a front runner for not only Rookie of the Year, but also the NBA's Most Valuable Player Award.