LOS ANGELES CA - FEBRUARY 18: John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards and the Rookie Team and Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers and the Rookie Team laugh on the court in the second half during the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam at Staples Center on February 18 2011 in Los Angeles California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Blake Griffin comes to Verizon Center for his only visit tonight, and in light of the matchup happening, I figured I'd at least pose this question as a starting point.
Griffin is very clearly going to win the Rookie of the Year over John Wall and others. To argue otherwise is to be in denial. But as several have pointed out at different points throughout the season, Griffin also had the benefit of being in an NBA environment for a season as he recovered from his season-ending knee injury. Sure, it's the Clippers, but it's still the NBA. Wall, meanwhile, is picking up the NBA routine as he plays, like all other rookies.
I'm not going to suggest that Griffin doesn't deserve the inevitable Rookie of the Year he'll win, but I do think that one year has made some sort of difference. Adjusting to the NBA lifestyle before and after games is as big an adjustment, if not bigger, than learning the game itself. Griffin was able to get situated with that before he even had to play, and I think we're seeing the effects of that.
So here's today's question:
How much do you think Griffin's year recovering from his knee injury gave him a leg up compared to a true rookie? Is it enough of an advantage where his Rookie of the Year needs to come with an asterisk?