Because of LeBron James great play in a losing effort, the voters got confused and picked the wrong player for this years Finals MVP. Andre Iguodola was the “x factor”, not the Most Valuable Player. Stephen Curry was the athlete who should have been given the award.
IT WAS CLOSE: Going into game six I thought of a couple scenarios in which LeBron and his Cavs could lose, and he would still capture the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP. For five seconds I considered a way in which Iguodola could come out on top. The way the final game played out ensured to me neither of those guys would take home the hardware. Curry was the best choice. I was a bit shocked when Andre was being handed the trophy. I accepted it for a minute as I knew his contribution was huge. It took half an hour before I was annoyed. I’d guessed the previous 27 winners correctly, and I felt like it should be 28. It’s not a huge sports robbery, but it’s one worth bringing up. The 11 voters gave Iguodola seven votes and LeBron four. Curry not receiving a vote is inexcusable.
WHY I CAN’T ACCEPT VOTING FOR JAMES: LeBron would have been my clear second choice. A legendary player carried this group to an Eastern Conference title. LeBron had to lift a lot in this championship battle and he did an awesome job. His versatility, leadership, and ability to physically consume the game were on full display. His all around numbers were glowing as always. His lack of help also contributed to him shooting 34 percent from the field in the fourth quarters and overtimes. For the level James is on (chasing Jordan) he came up flat in games four and six in Cleveland. If the King would have won, it would have been the greatest one man show in NBA history considering the roster. The Cavaliers lost. I could not justify choosing LeBron.
THE WARRIORS DON’T WIN WITHOUT IGUODOLA: The difference Andre made was obvious. He defended LeBron admirably. He had a super performance in the close out game. He hit open jumpers and made a ton of key plays. Andre was so vital, we don’t need to bring up his awful free throw shooting. Nobody would have expected Iguodola to be in the conversation for Finals MVP going into the series. His standout play muddied the race. He ended up being graded on the curve. The voters got cute. They thought out of the box instead of keeping it simple.
CURRY WOULD HAVE MADE THE MOST SENSE: Through the first three games Steph was a little bit under the Cavaliers thumb. He would dominate in spurts compared to his usual most of the time. The bigger the games got, the more I saw the 2015 NBA MVP. Remember that guy that is shooting the ball on a different level than we have ever seen? How about that dude with some of the sickest handles ever who dominated the Western Conference all season? That same guy played in the NBA Finals. He still made incredible shots and passes. He provided space to his team on offense and rose to the occasion late in games. He averaged 26 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds. He darted and danced to 37 points in game five, and played every bit as good as Iguodola in game six. The best player on the best team equals logical choice.
SUMMARY: Andre Iguodola should have been a distant third in the final tally. This came down to the worlds two best players. LeBron playing on a “9.2” level and losing, is not as good as Curry playing “8.65” and winning. I do see why those that voted messed up. They needed a half an hour to let it sink in like I did.
Jay C. Brandriet 6/24/15