Tag: Golden State Warriors

Stephen Curry, LeBron James

Finals MVP is three-man race, but is LeBron James the frontrunner?


It is possible — I would suggest even likely — that the NBA Finals will end on Tuesday night in Cleveland. Which means the MVP trophy would be voted on by select members of the media, then handed out.

And for the first time since 1969 and “The Logo” Jerry West was putting up ridiculous numbers, a player on the losing side could win the award.

With only a game or two left in the NBA season, the Finals MVP is down to a three-man race. Maybe two with a dark horse is a better way to put it. And how the final games play out will have a factor in the voting — we all often value most what impressed most recently. It’s human nature.

Here are the three guys that can win it, in the order I think is most likely to happen.

1) Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors. He is on top for this simple reason: Voters want to pick someone from the winning team. Some might even say the winner has to come from the winning team (I disagree, but the sentiment is out there). If he has another brilliant shooting night and owns Game 6 as the Warriors close it out, expect him to win.

And he deserves to be on this list. Curry has been the game-changer in this series, you could see in the fourth quarter of Game 3 he had finally figured out Matthew Dellavedova and the Cavaliers’ defense. In the fourth quarter of Game 5, he dropped 17, hit some signature baskets and put his stamp on the series. He has been the leading scorer and (arguably) best player on the best team. But I think he needs a big Game 6 to secure the MVP award.

2) LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers. If you’re going to pick the single best player in the NBA Finals to win the MVP it’s not eve close, it goes to LeBron. What else could he do? Sell beer on the concourse during timeouts? His statistics are ridiculous: He has averaged 36.6 points, 12.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game. Or look at it this way: on LeBron’s shots, assists, and the offensive rebounds off his shots the Cavaliers have an eFG% of 51.6 percent, on all other shots not created by LeBron it is 30.7 percent. He has largely controlled the tempo of the series. He has been their offense — and played well on defense. There is no question who the single best player in this series has been. But if the award for “most valuable” has to go to a guy on the winning team, then LeBron is out of luck.

LeBron doesn’t want it, by the way.

“I wouldn’t feel good about it at all,” James said. “At the end of the day I’m here to win a team prize, and that’s to win a championship, not an individual prize.”

3) Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors. We’ve already made the case for him as MVP. He has averaged 14.6 points per game on 54.9 percent shooting, he has it 40.7 percent from three, plus he has guarded LeBron most of the series and done a respectable job on him. The Warriors are not on the cusp of a title without him. If Curry doesn’t have a monster Game 6, Iguodala does, the Warriors win, and voters are looking for a Curry alternative, Iguodala is in the mix. Consider him a dark horse.

Golden State GM: Don’t worry Warriors fans, Draymond Green will be back

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 14:  Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors goes up against Tristan Thompson #13 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first half during Game Five of the 2015 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 14, 2015 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Draymond Green came in second in the Defensive Player of the Year voting in the NBA, and some casual fans shook their heads at the idea.

They don’t anymore. Not after these Finals. The versatility of Draymond Green to defend the center position allowed Steve Kerr to go small and put Andre Iguodala in as a starter and bench Andrew Bogut. His defense is a key reason the Warriors are on the brink of winning the NBA title.

Green is also a restricted free agent this summer.

But Warriors fans to expect Green back in the Bay Area, Golden State GM Bob Meyers told the San Jose Mercury News Tuesday.

“Tell the Warrior fans they shouldn’t worry,” Myers said Tuesday as the team held its shootaround session in preparation for Game 6 at the Quicken Loans Arena….

Asked if he could comment on whether the franchise is prepared to go to any lengths to keep Green, Myers said, “I can’t comment, per league rules, on that specific question. The only thing I can say is we really like our core. Obviously, they’ve achieved a great amount of success so far this season. Our hope is to keep them together.”

Because Green is restricted the Warriors have the right to match any offer he receives. And they will — Green is too central to the defensive switching and floor spacing that the Warriors rely on, and that has gotten them to the brink of a title. They’ll max him to keep ji

Giving Green a max or near max deal, on top of what was given Klay Thompson and a new max deal for Stephen Curry when he comes up, may mean the Warriors can’t keep someone like Harrison Barnes on the roster.

But that’s a problem for a couple years from now. In the short term, the Warriors are pretty happy with their 67-win roster. They want to keep it together. With good reason.



LeBron on winning Finals MVP if Cavaliers lose the series: ‘I wouldn’t feel good about it at all’

LeBron James

The Warriors have looked sensational in winning two straight games to take a 3-2 series lead in the NBA Finals. But with Golden State having two chances to close out the Cavaliers, all anybody seems to be talking about is LeBron James.

The expectation is that the Warriors and their smaller lineups have turned the tide in the series for good, so the conversation, at least for the moment, no longer revolves around the games themselves.

It’s all about the Finals MVP award, and whether or not LeBron should win it even if his team ultimately comes up short. Plenty of people believe he should, but James doesn’t seem to be interested in gaining this form of recognition.

From Jason lloyd of Ohio.com:

LeBron James dismissed Tuesday the idea he could win the Most Valuable Player award of these NBA Finals even if the Cavaliers lose. They enter tonight’s Game 6 facing elimination against the Golden State Warriors despite James’ sparkling efforts.

“I wouldn’t feel good about it at all,” James said. “At the end of the day I’m here to win a team prize, and that’s to win a championship, not an individual prize.”

James’ candidacy has gained steam in recent days. He is averaging 36.6 points, 12.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists in this series and has carried the Cavs to six games despite the losses of All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.

The regular season MVP award went to Stephen Curry, because he was the best player on what had been the league’s best team all year long. But no one would argue against the fact that James remained the game’s best player, and the Finals MVP will more than likely play out the very same way.

James will probably put up another incredible statistical line in Game 6, and it will be one more box score to add to the pile of evidence that he’s currently the best there is. But as for the actual individual hardware, if the Cavaliers lose, he doesn’t want any part of it — and because of how awkward the potential presentation of that trophy would be following a losing effort, he probably doesn’t have anything to worry about.