With the NBA Playoffs in full swing it allows the casual NBA fan to watch the highest level of basketball, with all of the league superstars on full display, says Jack McNally

However, this year there are a number of superstars who are missing from the coliseum of basketball, Superstars such as Dwyane Wade, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant.

With all of these All Stars missing, hasn’t it made this year’s playoffs boring?

No. Why?

Because of two young stars that are showing off their incredible talents to the whole world.

Anthony Davis and Blake Griffin.

During the 2014-15 regular season both men spread their basketball range as they both improved and added to the enormous basketball arsenal that they have acquired throughout their career. Blake Griffin became more of a maestro of the offense as his assists numbers increased, as did his 3pt percentage, while also bolstering a star level stat sheet.

While Anthony Davis seemed to burst into superstardom as he improved every facet of his game as he regular season production in points, blocks, rebounds, assist, field goal percentage and free throw percentage all increased. Davis really had an MVP calibre year, in just year three on his pro career.

Both men have come on leaps and bounds in their short time in the NBA, which raises the question.

Will the next 10 years be a battle between Davis and Griffin for the MVP Award?

Now right out of the gate that question will be shot down by fans who will say “What about Durant, Westbrook, Damian Lillard, Andrew Wiggins, Kyrie Irving!?” And that is very true, it won’t be a two horse race every year, just look at this season.

Heading into the season you would have put your money on either LeBron James or Kevin Durant to win the award, the two best players being the two front runners is pretty logical. But then a 6’3” guard in Golden State upset the natural balance with a historic level of shooting and wins to leave both Durant and James in the dust as Stephen Curry won the MVP in amazing fashion.

But, while the next 10 years of MVPs is by no means set in stone, the betting man would keep a close eye on these two Power Forwards.

Since the 1994-95 season, the NBA MVP Award has been won by a Guard 8 times (Michael Jordan x2, Allen Iverson, Steve Nash x2, Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose and Stephen Curry), by a Center twice (David Robinson and Shaquille O’Neal) and won by a Forward 11 times (Karl Malone x2, Tim Duncan x2, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James x4 and Kevin Durant).

So looking at the last 20 years in the league, the games seems to be suited to big men who are quick on their feet, can shoot the ball, are powerful in the paint, and defensive stoppers. That sounds a lot like Blake Griffin and Anthony Davis to me.

However you also have to weight in their age, injuries and their teams, not many MVP’s are awarded to those on a losing team.

Both men have suffered injuries. Blake Griffin suffered a broken leg before the start of his then rookie season, but since then he has been able stay healthy and over his 5 seasons in the NBA has been able to average 75 games a year. And at the age of 26, he has a lot of miles left in his legs.

Anthony Davis on the other hand hasn’t necessarily had monstrous injuries, but injuries that have left his side-line for long stretches. However, it is easy to forget that a star of this calibre is only 22 and has a lot of room to grow physically. At the moment Davis stands at 6’10” and weights 220Lbs, Blake Griffin is 6’10” and weights 251Lbs. So as a big man banging in the paint, Davis takes a huge amount of punishment to his body.

Then you look at their teams.

Griffin is defiantly the more blessed of the two being a part of the Los Angeles Clippers, as he has the likes of DeAndre Jordan, Jordan Crawford and JJ Reddick on his team, as well as Doc Rivers coaching. But also the All Star Point Guard Chris Paul who creates the passes and plays for some of Griffins sensational dunks.

Having that combination of players and basketball IQ has given Griffin a definite advantage when entering the post season. This year the Clippers have made it to the second round of the playoffs and are currently facing the combination of James Harden and Dwight Howard on the Houston Rockets, a tough matchup to say the least.

The Clippers are at the stage of their development where they are expected to be title contenders every year, and with Griffin on the brink of reaching his physical and basketball prime, a championship could be the next step.

But for Anthony Davis, he has a very tough decision to make.

Davis’ performance this year was incredible; he averaged 24Pts, 10RPG and 2.9 blocks while also managing to carry the New Orleans Pelicans to their first playoff berth since the Chris Paul Era as the Hornets.

But, after their not so surprising first round sweep by the MVP Stephen Curry and the 63 Win Golden State Warriors, the Pelicans are expected to offer an astounding $140 Million 5 year contract extension for Davis.

For any other player this would be a once in a life time opportunity, and 99.99% of the time rookies accept their first contact extension. However, Davis could be a historic exception.

Davis is already great, and is expected to only get better, and at just 22 the end result could be otherworldly. And with all of that talent, there’s only one expectation.

To become an NBA Champion.

If Anthony Davis signs that extension he becomes one of the richest players in the league, but he also has to pray that the Pelicans front office can deliver more than just a boat load of money. General Manager Dell Demps hasn’t made any real block buster trades before, and the biggest trade he was a part of was the Chris Paul trade.

This trade was very one sided as the Clippers got  Chris Paul and two 2015 second-round picks to the Los Angeles Clippers for guard Eric Gordon, forward Al-Farouq Aminu, center Chris Kaman and a 2012 first-round pick on December 14, 2011. That 1st round pick, is Austin Rivers, no plays for the Los Angeles Clippers.

Davis might have to think about playing out the final year of his rookie deal, and then testing free agency. Many people would try and slate Davis for not “Believing in the process” like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson all did, but great players such as LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Kevin Garnett all left their organisations who failed and won championships.

However the argument could be made that once Davis’ contract is signed and his future is set in New Orleans, many All Star players could flock to “The Big Easy” to join this superstar talent on an eventual run to an NBA Finals. But there’s always the question “Can a small market team, make a big market signing?”

But where ever Anthony Davis does, the MVP race over the next decade still looks to be a question of Blake Griffin Vs.Anthony Davis, or Whoever is hot that year Vs. Griffin Vs. Davis.



Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • MySpace
  • Print

You must be logged in to post a comment Login