November 29, 2022

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NBA Finals MVP Rankings: Steph Curry can win even if the Warriors lose; Jason Tatum, Jaylan Brown’s neck and neck

NBA Finals MVP Rankings: Steph Curry can win even if the Warriors lose;  Jason Tatum, Jaylan Brown's neck and neck

With the 2022 NBA Finals tied 2-2 back to San Francisco for Game 5 on Monday, it’s time to check out the always-fun MVP Finals race. if it was Golden State Warriors Winning, Stephen Curry is a lock. As we’ll discuss, he has a strong case, even now, to win the award even if the series’ Warriors lose. On the Boston CelticsOn the other hand, it’s a tight call now between Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

After that, I wouldn’t bother caring about anyone else. One of those three men will win the MVP award at the finals. Through four matches, here’s how I see the rankings fall apart.

1. Stephen Curry

Curry is the favorite because, on paper at least, Golden State is in a better position to win the championship as it currently is, having reclaimed the home grounds advantage in what has become a three-game series.

If the Warriors fail, there is precedent for the player from the losing team winning MVP in the Finals. Jerry West received this honor in 1969 when he was awarded the Lakers He lost in seven matches against the Celtics. Lately, if any player from a losing team is going to win the MVP award at the Finals, it will be, and perhaps should have been, LeBron James in 2015, when he averaged 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists in Cleveland’s loss to Golden State.

We know who actually won the 2015 Finals Player of the Year award: Andre Iguodala. It’s still hotly debated, with Iguodala himself recently saying he deserved the award over Stephen Curry, who, despite having some tough games by his standards, averaged 26-6-5 and created plenty of space in which Iguodala et al thrived.

This year, Curry, who lacked the Finals MVP on an otherwise worthy resume for Mount Rushmore, left no doubt. Again, if the Warriors win this series, they get the hardware in the bag. Nobody has a chance. The question is: Should Curry win the award even if the series’ Warriors lose?

Understand, there is a long way to go. If Curry lays an egg or two during the last leg of the series, he won’t win. He will have to continue at his current tense pace until the end. This is as it should be. For the losing player to win the title of MVP, the gap must be so wide that it is enormous.

So far, this has been the case. No one in this series has ever been close to Curry, who currently averages 34.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and two steals at 50 percent. Dude shoots 49 percent of 3 over the 12-plus mark in each game. If he continues, these numbers will make him in the most historically chosen company.

With 25 hat-tricks to date, Curry is the first player in history to achieve at least five goals in four consecutive Finals. After his 43-point masterpiece in Game 4, he also became one of the three keepers who set up a 40-point/10-rebound Finals streak, joining Charm Johnson and West mentioned.

Given the all-time defense he’s up against, and the lack of help he’s receiving from his team, what Curry is doing now is superhuman. The Celtics are better than the Warriors. They are bigger, stronger and faster. They have a better defense. They have two elite scorers to Golden State. None of their formations have to compromise on offense to defense, or vice versa, while Golden State, somehow, repairs at least one glaring gap during every second of the series.

Draymond Green is a limit that can’t be played right now. Klay Thompson repays 35 percent. If you’re still seeing this Warriors team through the lens of what it used to be, get your eyes checked. This is not veterans. However, aged Curry is the same, literally the only card Golden State has to play. And yet, he keeps them almost alone.

That’s exactly what James did in 2015 without Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. LeBron was that Cavaliers The team that started with Matthew Dellavedova, Timofey Mozgov, Iman Shumpert and Tristan Thompson led 2-1 over the Warriors, who had 67 wins. It wasn’t as effective as Carrie this series was. Not even close. But he was the best player in that series by a mile, and he didn’t win the award. Some people would argue if LeBron didn’t get it then, Carrie wouldn’t be able to get it now.

Not sure if you are one of those people. My instinct is that I feel a little weird about a player from the losing team who won MVP in the Finals, even though I usually despise arguments that rely on the old, rickety part of traditionalism. I do not know why. It just feels weird. But if LeBron won in 2015, I think I’d feel good about it. West’s precedent was set a decade before I was born. I can’t think of this debate with any level of intelligence.

For me, LeBron should have been the one who set a recent precedent in 2015. But my colleague Sam Quinn challenged me in our chat room to answer a simple question: Why should one wrong person tell the other? As Sam emphasized, it’s like arguing that a baseball player can’t be voted unanimously in the Hall of Fame because Babe Ruth, Willie Mace, or Mickey Mantell weren’t.

So they misunderstood them. clearly. Why do we have to keep getting these things wrong? Baseball voters finally broke their stupid law when Mariano Rivera got 100 percent of the vote in 2019.

People said the same thing about Curry winning the 2015-16 MVP title by unanimous vote. How could that happen when Michael Freking Jordan didn’t win unanimously? Again, two wrongs do not correct the right. There was no justifiable option to win the 2015-16 Player of the Year award other than Curry. They understand this right.

So again, if he continues at this current pace, and the Warriors lose the series, Curry will definitely have a case to win first in the Finals. Will he do that? I don’t know. Traditions are hard to break. And again, for me personally, I don’t know exactly how I would feel about it. It doesn’t matter how I feel, of course. It only matters how voters feel. I know this: If all of the Boston players in their hats and shirts stood up at the tournament and declared Curry the tournament’s best player, it would send a Twitter firestorm hell.

2. Jason Tatum

Again, if Boston wins the series and Curry doesn’t break a recent precedent, he’s a thin margin between Tatum and Brown for now. Almost impossible, both are averaging exactly 22.3 points and 7.0 assists so far in the series. Brown’s score was much more effective than Tatum’s score, but I still relied on Tatum because of the play industry. His 7.8 passes per game is twice Brown’s production.

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Finally, the Game 4 Tatum entry was responsible for 45 percent of Boston’s attack either by scoring or assisting him. Tatum is the one being defended like a star, and Brown, if we split the hair, takes advantage of the secondary creativity opportunities that Tatum’s cuteness provides. Tatum’s ending issues came up close to the edge again, but he’s hit 45 percent of 3s in the series.

3. Jaylene Brown

For me, I have Brown Poetry Like Boston’s best player so far, in some ways, like Iguodala who felt Golden State’s best player in 2015. You have to factor in the star’s burden – with Tatum being 2015’s Curry – let the incompetence slide and really appreciate the overall impact of the guy Who drives the bus, as Charles Barclay likes to say.

But Brown was great. no doubt. His game industry, while not on Tatum’s level, has been important, and it’s not like he’s not creating much of his offense. He has notably outflanked Draymond Green on several occasions for one-on-one buckets in Game 4. Both Brown and Tatum play their usual superb defense.

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This is the race that is not over yet. Again, if Golden State wins, Curry is a lock. For Boston, those next two or three games will decide the best player debate between Tatum and Brown. If the Celtics go their way, it’s still going to be tough a week from now because Tatum and Brown will have played so well throughout this streak in leading Boston to the trophy they really care about.

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