Rivers backs Durant for award and insists LeBron is still best player in NBA.
Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers believes that star forward Blake Griffin should be second in the race for the league MVP award this year.
Griffin is averaging a career-high 24 points per game as well as 9.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists this season, and played an integral role in keeping the Clippers in the hunt for a high seed finish while point guard Chris Paul was sidelined with injury.
The 25-year-old has undoubtedly improved his game this year but has also become more of a leader for the team, and that is essentially why Rivers believes that he belongs in the conversation and although he is biased, he feels as though he deserves to be there.
“I think second because I’m coaching him,” Rivers said, according to ESPN.
“I think Durant has had the best year. I still think LeBron [James] is still the best player in the NBA but I think Durant has had an MVP year. I don’t know who has had a better year. And I honestly think Blake would be right behind him.”
Paul missed 18 games with a shoulder injury through the middle part of the season, which presented Griffin with the chance to become the focal point of the team.
He did not disappoint as the Clippers built towards a 55-24 record for the season and have the third seed in the Western Conference all-but secured with the hope that they can now push on and deliver in the post-season.
Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks agreed with Rivers in that Durant deserves the MVP award, but also said that Griffin deserves consideration as a top-three candidate.
Brooks insists that Griffin has improved every year he has been in the league and his leadership without Paul was a key aspect of why he should be involved in the conversation.