Detroit Pistons’ point-forward Blake Griffin has been phenomenal through the first quarter of the 2018-2019 season. He is currently averaging 24.9 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 5.1 assists. He is the focal point of the Pistons offense. At age 29, Griffin has successfully expanded his game to the three-point line, shooting a career-best 36% on over six(!) attempts. He is an elite playmaker who would be averaging more assists if his team wasn’t shooting less than 33% from three point range, which is bottom-five in the league. He is scoring at the highest clip of his career despite Andre Drummond clogging the paint and providing no spacing whatsoever. The Pistons are currently an impressive 13-7.
Blake is on pace to play the most games he has in five seasons, 2013-14, when he finished third in MVP voting knocks on wood frivolously. Blake also has a good chance to make an All-NBA team for the first time since 2014-15. The last time someone had that big of a gap between All-NBA selections? Wilt Chamberlain from l968-1972. I didn’t count Rick Barry because he decided to play in the ABA in the middle of his career and would have made All-NBA otherwise.
Unfortunately for Blake, he plays at the forward position, so he is competing with four of the top eight players in the league as well as several other All-star caliber players. Let’s see where Griffin ranks currently and how he would fair at the end of the season if Detroit continues to overachieve.
To be clear, Anthony Davis is a center, which makes Griffin’s chances of making All-NBA much better. The front-runners for first and second team are the usual suspects: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Barring injury or a large plummet in their teams’ records, I consider these players mortal locks for four of the six forward slots. With two spots left, here are the players who have had great seasons along with their team record and season averages (points/rebounds/assists):
- Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder: 14-7, 23.5/7.7/4.3
- Tobias Harris, Los Angeles Clippers: 15-6, 21.7/8.7/3.7
- Jimmy Butler, Philadelphia 76ers: 16-8, 19.6/5.1/3.7
- Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks: 15-7, 18.5/5.5/4.0
Other players like Draymond Green and Kristaps Porzingis have been injured but would have been in the discussion in years past.
My forward selections currently look like this:
- First Team: Kawhi Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo
- Second Team: LeBron James, Kevin Durant
- Third Team: Blake Griffin, Paul George
Ultimately, I think Blake does make an All-NBA team if Detroit can reach 45+ wins. Where does BG rank for you?