Los Angeles Clippers: MVP

OKLAHOMA CITY – Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin finished third in the NBA MVP voting behind Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant and Miami Heat forward LeBron James.

Clippers guard Chris Paul finished seventh. The Clippers are the fourth team in the past 10 years to have two players finish in the top seven of MVP voting. The previous three teams (2004 Los Angeles Lakers, 2011 Miami Heat and 2013 San Antonio Spurs) advanced to, but lost, in the NBA Finals.

[+] EnlargeBlake Griffin and Chris Paul
Howard Smith/USA TODAY SportsBlake Griffin finished third in MVP voting behind Kevin Durant and LeBron James. Teammate Chris Paul was seventh.
Griffin’s third-place finish was his highest ever in the MVP voting after a career season in which he averaged 24.1 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. He became the first player in the NBA since Shaquille O'Neal in 2002-03 to average at least 24 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists while shooting over 50 percent from the field.

“I’m honored, really,” Griffin said. “It’s hard to believe, but I’m honored and humbled by that. I said all year it was kind of a two-man race and towards the end it was a no-brainer. It’s definitely cool to be up there."

While Griffin is happy to be ranked as one of the top three players in the league by voters, he said his goal is to continue to improve his game and one day win the MVP.

“Third place, you don’t really get a trophy for that, maybe a bronze medal,” Griffin said. “It’s nice to be considered as that, but I have a lot of areas for improvement.”

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Why Paul should win the MVP but won't

April, 22, 2012
4/22/12
11:39
PM PT


LOS ANGELES -- He won’t win the award. In fact if he cracks the top two at this point it would be a minor miracle, but truth be told he deserves it more than anyone else.

Chris Paul should win the NBA MVP this season but chances are he will watch a more hyped player on a more hyped team with a far better supporting cast raise the trophy sometime next month.

After narrowly losing the award to Kobe Bryant in 2008, Paul is used to being overlooked by now. The only thing he remembers about that season is losing to the San Antonio Spurs in the second round of the playoffs and trying to get back to that point ever since then.

“It’s all good and well but it’s more about our team,” Paul said. “I was the runner-up in 2007-2008 but I’d rather have a championship than the MVP any day of the week.”

Chances are Paul won’t win a championship this season, not with the supporting cast he has on the Clippers, but the fact that the Clippers are even in that conversation should be enough for Paul to win the MVP. Anyone who can single-handedly will the Clippers to as many wins as Paul has this season shouldn’t have to play second fiddle to LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Bryant in the MVP conversation.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Blake Griffin
PTS AST STL MIN
22.9 4.7 0.8 35.2
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsD. Jordan 13.4
AssistsC. Paul 9.5
StealsC. Paul 2.1
BlocksD. Jordan 2.4