Late in the fourth quarter of the Detroit Pistons' wild 133-132 overtime win over the Philadelphia 76ers, "M-V-P!" chants broke out at Little Caesars Arena. That's been an unfamiliar chant in the Motor City in recent years, but with the start that Blake Griffin is off to this season, it isn't all that absurd.
Griffin was absolutely spectacular on Tuesday night. Not only did he set a new career-high with 50 points -- the first 50-point game of the season by anyone in the league -- but he got there by converting a last-second and-one to win the game for the Pistons. The fact that it came just after J.J. Redick put the Sixers in front with a four-point play on the other end only made it more incredible.
All night long Griffin carried the Pistons, picking up clutch buckets every time they needed one. Sixteen of his 50 points came in the fourth quarter, which was even more important after Andre Drummond was ejected late in regulation after a questionable second technical foul. When the final buzzer sounded, Griffin finished with 50 points on a highly efficient 20-of-35 shooting, 14 rebounds and six assists.
Griffin was so good in this game, that even other NBA players were amazed.
Both Griffin and the Pistons struggled down the stretch last season after the blockbuster trade that brought him to town from the Clippers, but his performance this campaign is exactly why they made the bold trade. Following Tuesday night's performance, Griffin is averaging 36.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists and shooting 53 percent from the field. Most importantly, the Pistons are 3-0. The last time they won their first three games was the 2015-16 season, which also happens to be the last time they made the playoffs.
There's a ways to go for the Pistons to get back to the postseason, and even further for Griffin to actually make the crowd's chants come true, but this is a dream start for both him and the team.