For the first time in NBA history, the final four teams all lack a single player who was an MVP candidate. This is due to a few factors: first, the six leading MVP candidates are all playing for teams that made it to the NBA Finals, so it’s almost impossible to be an MVP candidate and not be on the Finals roster. Second, the leading MVP candidates were all top five in minutes played during the regular season and all played at least 50 games. Third, the four finalists are all very different from each other, so there is no MVP candidate who exemplifies the entire team. Fourth, all four teams are very different and play in different cities, so the MVP candidate can’t be the best player on the best team
This season, the NBA has had a few memorable Finals. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers won their first ever championship, and—unlike the other Finals in the past decade—they did so without making a single three-pointer. James’s and Kyrie Irving’s performance earned them both Finals Most Valuable Player honors, but it was the performances of Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Greek Freak, and Kawhi Leonard, the reigning Finals MVP, that were most fascinating to watch.
LeBron James won his sixth NBA title this year, and he will likely be the first player to win six in a row. So, how many titles does he need to win to become the all-time champion? 6. That’s how many titles LeBron needs to surpass Michael Jordan, who had six of his own. But there’s a problem: LeBron is only halfway through his career!. Read more about 2015 nba finals stats and let us know what you think.
It’s been a few weeks since Giannis Antetokounmpo fulfilled his promise to the people of Milwaukee by winning an NBA championship for the Bucks. Giannis received the Finals MVP award, which some are claiming to be the best Finals performance in the past 15 years.
It’s taken a week for Giannis’ performance in the Finals to sink in. A postseason run is defined by the Finals MVP, and we’ve had some pretty excellent ones in the past decade and a half. In the NBA Finals, we’ve seen the Celtics and Lakers, the Heat and Spurs, the Warriors and Cavaliers, and now first-time champs.
Not all of the players who captained their championship teams were made equal. There were some flashier moments than others. With that in mind, here are the power rankings for the 15 NBA Finals MVPs over the past 15 years.
Andre Iguodala (15) – 2015
16.3 points per game, 5.8 points per game, 4.0 points per game, 1.3 points per game, and 0.3 points per game (6 games)
Although LeBron’s stat total of 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 8.8 assists was outstanding, he didn’t deserve to be named Finals MVP since he was on a losing team. On defense, Iguodala’s job was to keep an eye on him. Even while he didn’t “prevent” LeBron from having one of his greatest Finals performances, he certainly wear him out, as Game 6 demonstrated.
LeBron’s Game 6 saw most of his jump shots fall short. When Iguodala was on the floor, LeBron shot 38% from the field. Had Steph Curry gone off for 30 points in the final game, the award might have gone to him. Instead, Iguodala scored, rebounded, and defended LeBron. He also didn’t have any turnovers in his final two games, only one for the series. He was a true team MVP, but not the best individual.
Kawhi Leonard (Kawhi Leonard) (Kawhi Leonard) (Kawhi Leonard)
17.8 points per game, 6.4 points per game, 2.0 points per game, 1.6 points per game, and 1.2 points per game (5 Games)
Leonard’s first Finals MVP is rated towards the bottom for identical reasons as Kevin Durant’s. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili were among Leonard’s teammates. While these three were towards the end of their careers, they were all experienced winners who had previously won three titles between them. Leonard, who was still relatively young at the time, won the championship largely as a result of his defense on LeBron James.
By 0.2 points, Leonard was the Spurs’ second-leading scorer. Parker had 18.0 points and 10.0 rebounds for the squad, while Duncan had 15.4 points and 10.0 rebounds. You could make a case for any of those guys in certain ways.
Tony Parker (Tony) Parker (Tony) Parker (Tony)
24.5 points per game, 5.0 points per game, 3.3 points per game, 0.8 points per game, 0.0 points per game (4 Games)
Parker scored 27 points in Game 1 and 30 points in Game 2 to lead the Spurs in scoring. He was named Finals MVP for his scoring performance in the series, averaging 24.5 points per game. The Cavaliers, on the other hand, were not prepared to win a championship.
What LeBron James accomplished at the age of 22 is historically significant. The veteran-laden Spurs, on the other hand, had three major names on their roster. Drew Gooden was the Cavaliers’ second-best player.
Paul Pierce (12) – 2008
21.8 points per gram, 4.5 points per gram, 6.3 points per gram, 1.2 points per gram, 0.3 points per gram (6 Games)
Kevin Garnett had a double-double of 18.2 points and 13.0 rebounds per game. Garnett was also the defense’s heart and soul. Many think Garnett should have earned the MVP award in the Finals, but conspiracy theories claim Pierce received the tie-breaker since he was the Celtic with the longest stay.
Whatever the case may be, defeating the Lakers was no simple job. Pierce led the team in assists, but he had assistance from Ray Allen, who averaged 20.3 points per game and had more rebounds than Pierce. When compared to the accomplishments of others, this Finals MVP pales in comparison.
Kevin Durant (11th) – 2018
28.8 points per game, 10.8 points per game, 7.5 points per game, 0.8 points per game, 2.3 points per game (4 Games)
It was one of just two sweeps in the past 15 years when the Golden State Warriors won their second championship in a row. For the second year in a row, Durant was awarded Finals MVP. Despite this, his performance remains at the bottom of our power rankings for a variety of reasons.
For openers, it was the superteam of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green’s second season together. Their chemistry was incredible. Three players on this squad had a chance to win Finals MVP. In addition, this was the Warriors’ worst Cavaliers team in four years. The Eastern Conference was awful in general without Kyrie Irving. Who made the NBA Finals didn’t matter. They were unable to defeat the Warriors.
Kobe Bryant (10th) – 2009
32.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 7.4 APG, 1.4 SPG, 1.4 BPG, 32.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 7.4 APG, 1.4 SPG, 1.4 BPG (5 Games)
Here, the figures seem to be exaggerated. Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkoglu, and Jameer Nelson led the Lakers against the Orlando Magic. Orlando’s performance was remarkable, but they were not the strongest club in the Eastern Conference overall. We would have been more pleased if Bryant had done this against the Celtics.
Is anybody shocked that the Lakers defeated the Magic in five games? The team’s overall depth was improved. Bryant was a larger name than Howard, who was playing in the NBA Finals for the first time. Bryant was a seasoned veteran by this time, and he understood precisely how to exploit the Magic’s defense.
LeBron James (9th) – 2012
28.6 points per game, 10.2 points per game, 7.4 points per game, 1.6 points per game, and 0.4 points per game (5 Games)
With 15 players, LeBron’s first title reaches the top-10, but it’s still in the lowest rung of our rankings. That’s because of who LeBron chose to help him win his first championship. Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook’s deadly menace is much more frightening now than it was ten years ago. The three players were all under the age of 20 and competing in their first NBA Finals.
Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, members of LeBron’s team, had already achieved more in their careers than any of these three, who were just four to five years old. LeBron’s first championship was the reason he moved from Cleveland to Miami, yet it is the least spectacular of his four championships.
LeBron James (#8) – 2020
29.8 points per game, 11.8 points per game, 8.5 points per game, 1.2 points per game, and 0.5 points per game (6 Games)
The Lakers winning the championship in a year that saw the world lose Kobe Bryant needs to be stated. LeBron almost averaged a triple-double in the Finals. He exceeded expectations in every area of the game. Mentally, winning a championship after Kobe’s death and a pandemic should be regarded with some reverence.
This was not one of LeBron’s best five performances in his four titles, but it was a new style of play for him. Even though he played more defense and assisted his teammates, he still averaged almost 30 points each game.
Kobe Bryant (7th) – 2010
28.6 points per game, 8.0 points per game, 3.9 points per game, 2.1 points per game, and 0.7 points per game (7 Games)
Bryant’s shoulder was chipped. This victory would give him one more than his former colleague Shaquille O’Neal and get him closer to Michael Jordan’s record of six titles. Kobe led all scorers in six of the seven games in this seven-game series, including back-to-back nights to avoid elimination.
Bryant averaged 10 points per game more than Pau Gasol, the second-leading scorer, and Boston’s top scorer, Paul Pierce. The Lakers had just won back-to-back titles when he was named Finals MVP. This came in at 41.1 minutes per game as well. The output matched the minutes, but winning seven games in a row when down 3-2 is as remarkable.
Kevin Durant (#6) – 2017
35.2 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 5.4 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.6 BPG (5 Games)
Durant earned his first title and Finals MVP after the Warriors defeated the Cavaliers in five games. Despite playing on the losing team, Durant came dangerously near to losing against LeBron. LeBron James became the first player in NBA Finals history to average a triple-double with 33.6 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 10.0 assists.
In both Game 1 and Game 2, Durant led all scorers with 38 and 33 points, respectively. Despite having two-time MVP Steph Curry and 2017 Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green on his side, Durant made the NBA Finals all about himself. He deposed King James, who changed the course of history, and he deserves some recognition for it.
Dirk Nowitzki (5th) – 2011
26.0 points per gram, 9.7 points per gram, 2.0 points per gram, 2.0 points per gram, 0.7 points per gram, 0.7 points per gram, 0.7 points per gram, 0.7 points per gram (6 Games)
Let’s put things in context. Against a Miami Heat team that included LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, Nowitzki led the Dallas Mavericks to their first-ever title. Even though it was their first season together, those three Hall of Famers were on the team, and Nowitzki’s right-hand man was Jason Terry.
The skill gap between the two teams was enormous. In five of the six games, Nowitzki almost averaged a double-double and led the club in scoring or rebounds. The victory was everything Nowitzki had hoped for, and being named Finals MVP was the icing on the cake.
Kawhi Leonard is the fourth best player in the 2019 NBA Draft.
28.5 points per game, 9.8 points per game, 4.2 points per game, 4.2 points per game, 2.0 points per game, 1.2 points per game (6 Games)
Leonard’s performance in the NBA Finals for the Toronto Raptors was legendary, similar to Nowitzki’s. Leonard’s game-winning shot in Game 7 of the playoffs to advance the club to the Conference Finals is already legendary, but guiding the organization to its first-ever NBA title is even more so.
The Raptors were headed by Leonard against a Warriors squad that included Curry, Thompson, Durant, and Green. Granted, Durant was injured upon his return, and Thompson tore his ACL, but this Warriors squad fought the Raptors to a six-game series. This includes a victory in Game 5 in Toronto to prevent the team from clenching its teeth. In the end, the Raptors triumphed and dethroned a club that had advanced to the NBA Finals for the sixth time in a row.
LeBron James – 3rd place in 2013
25.3 points per game, 10.9 points per game, 7.0 points per game, 2.3 points per game, and 0.9 points per game (7 Games)
LeBron’s second victory included one of his finest performances in the NBA Finals. The Spurs were ahead 3-2 in the series, but the Heat won Game 6 in overtime due to Ray Allen’s three-point jumper. LeBron led the squad with 32 points outside of the shot. Then, in Game 7, he scored 37 points to win Miami their second consecutive championship.
LeBron averaged 43.0 minutes per game throughout the series, which was seven minutes more than the next highest player. This series, LeBron led the Heat in points, rebounds, assists, and steals. Those are pretty remarkable statistics for a tiny forward.
LeBron James – 2nd place in 2016
29.7 points per game, 11.3 points per game, 8.9 points per game, 2.6 points per game, and 2.3 points per game (7 Games)
It’s hard to believe LeBron’s 2016 Finals MVP numbers aren’t even his finest, but his Finals performance is the second-greatest show we’ve seen in the past 15 years. It took several hard-fought games for him to fulfill his pledge to Cleveland and bring the city its first NBA title.
The Warriors were leading the Cavaliers 3-1. Remember, this was a club that finished the regular season with an NBA-record 73 victories. LeBron led all scorers with 41 points in Game 6 to force a Game 7. Then he had a triple-double with 27 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists, including the game-winning block on Andre Iguodala. This series was fantastic from beginning to end, but LeBron James stood out the most.
2021: Giannis Antetokounmpo
35.2 PPG, 13.2 RPG, 5.0 APG, 1.2 SPG, 1.8 BPG, 35.2 PPG, 13.2 RPG, 5.0 APG, 1.2 SPG, 1.8 BPG (6 Games)
Giannis’ performance in the NBA Finals was almost identical to Shaq’s and Michael Jordan’s three-peats. Giannis had three games in which he scored more than 40 points. 42 points in Game 2 and 41 points in Game 3 were among them. In Game 6, he became just the sixth player in NBA Finals history to score 50 points in a single game.
Only LeBron James has scored 50 points in an NBA Finals game out of the previous 15 Finals MVPs (2018). Giannis helped the Bucks win their first NBA title in 50 years, the first since Kareem Abdul-early Jabbar’s days in the league. Giannis Antetokounmpo has matched his skills with genuine sports icons. In addition, his entire performance in the finals was legendary.
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The NBA Finals are in the books, and the Golden State Warriors have swept the Cleveland Cavaliers in four games. But the best player in a series that saw no shortage of compelling matchups was none other than LeBron James. There is no disputing LeBron has been the class of the NBA for the last decade, but even he was caught off guard by the Warriors.. Read more about giannis antetokounmpo height and let us know what you think.
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