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1438 days ago

First of all, I'll say it's not totally outrageous that Andre Igoudala was named Finals MVP . However, LeBron James, in the opinions of many including myself, could have and most likely should have been named MVP of the series, which would have made him the 2nd player from a losing team in the NBA Finals to win a series, the other being Jerry West in 1969.

Now there are those people who will ask: "How can the series MVP come from the losing team? If the player was that valuable, his team should have won the series and that's why the series MVP should come from the winning team. " And I understand that argument.... to a certain extent.

But let's take a look at LeBron's 2015 Finals performance and I'll explain why LeBron should have been the Finals MVP.

Let me preface my arguments by saying before the 2015 NBA Playoffs began, I had picked Golden State and Cleveland to reach the NBA Finals, and I picked Golden State to win the series in seven games. If you don't believe me you can check my twitter page (https://twitter.com/jy826). But after Kevin Love, the Cavs' third leading scorer and best rebounder during the 2014-15 regular season suffered a shoulder injury (after nearly having his arm ripped off by Kelly Olynk while chasing a loose ball in CLE's first round series with Boston) I figured CLE wouldn't reach the NBA Finals, thinking they would lose to either Chicago or Atlanta. However CLE still managed to win both those series, against two very fine Eastern Conference ball clubs.

Now I will say that the loss of Kevin Love was mitigated because CLE could insert Tristan Thompson into their starting lineup who is a productive player who is a big-time rebounder and can also score 10-15 points a game and also had a good finals series but by no means a superstar player, but after it was announced Kyrie Irving was out for the series after injuring his knee in overtime of game one, I figured the Cavs would be swept by a much deeper and more talented Golden State team.

However the Cavs extended the series to six games, and we're competitive in every game for the rest of the series (OK they did flame out in the fourth quarter of game 4), because of the efforts of LeBron James who was now playing with a team , after the injuries to Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, that looks like would've broken the record set by the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers for most losses in an NBA season. Or heck looks like it might have struggled to defeat Kentucky or Duke if you had placed this club without LeBron into the NCAA tournament.

During the Finals, LeBron's per-game series average was 35.8 points, 8.8 assists and 13.3 rebounds which made him the leader in all three stat categories FOR BOTH TEAMS, and he was the first player in Finals history to do that.

LeBron's 38.3 points per game, meant he scored 38.3 % of Cleveland's points during the Finals, that is the second highest mark in Finals series. The highest mark belong s to Michael Jordan when he scored 38.4% of Chicago's point total during the 1993 Finals.

But perhaps the most significant stat of LeBron's impact during the series was how LeBron's teammates performed when he was NOT on the floor, which was not very good.
First of all let me give you this stat, during this series LeBron, played 272 minutes during the Finals, where he averaged 45.3 minutes per game, or he was on the floor 92% of the time.
Now let's look at Cavaliers players shooting performances when LeBron was NOT on the floor during the ENTIRE series.

JR Smith 0-for-9 FG
Mathew Dellavedova 0-for- 7 FG
James Jones 0-for-3 FG
Terry Shumpert 0-for-2 FG.

That's right, During the ENTIRE SERIES, the primary four Cavs perimeter players COMBINED to shoot 0 for 21 from the field when LeBron was NOT on the floor. Yes, you read that correctly. The primary four Cavs perimeter players missed 21 of 21 shots when LeBron was NOT on the floor. A coincidence? I think not.

Now there are the pessimists that say he can point out during the series LeBron field goal percentage was only 40.3 percent for the series (he took 166 shots during the series, making 79 of them) but I think that's understandable given that The Warriors were the number one defensive team in the NBA this season and with the Cavs missing Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving (after game 1) during the Finals, in other word's the team's second and third leading scorers during the series, this meant Golden State, again the number one defensive team in the NBA, could focus on stopping LeBron during the series.

Some other slight negative from LeBron's play during the series were
1) his free throw percentage during the series, where he was 46-67 (68.6%) from the charity-strip.
2) he missed a jumper at the end of regulation of game one which would have given the Cavs the win.

Well LeBron, is human after all. Or he does a pretty good job of imitating a human being when he's not on the court.
But let's also say LeBron, and not Kyrie Irivng, had been injured in game one and had to sit out the rest of the series, and Kyrie Irving has to play the role of alpha-dog (as Bill Simons would say) for the Cavs, I am guessing then Golden State definitely sweeps the Cavs, and CLE would have been lucky to stay competitive in any game of the series. That's not a shot at Kyrie Irving at all, he's a great player, but that's how strong a team Golden State was, and how great a player LeBron was during the series.

So again let's review:

After losing game one of the Finals, the Cavs were without their second and third leading scorers,(or you can also say their second and third best players) in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, and were going up against the team with the best record in the NBA this season (67-15) and had the number one defense in the league and an explosive offense, with a team that without LeBron looked like they couldn't have beaten the New York Knicks in a best of seven game series and yet still managed to win two games in the series, and stayed competitive in the other three games of the series.

So if we again ask the question can a Finals MVP come from the losing team?
If you look at LeBron James performance during the 2015 NBA Finals my answer is a resounding yes.

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2153 days ago

The brother that director Ron Howard and actor Clint Howard never talk about. Of course the fact that he's 6'11" and black might be part of the reason the family doesn't talk about him much.

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2154 days ago

I always thought I was indecisive, but I think Dwight Howard takes the cake. I only wish my indecisiveness resulted in millions of dollars.

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2455 days ago

No one else is even close. He averaged 50 points a game one year. He led the league in assists one year just to show he could do it. He once had 26 blocked shots in a single game. He absolutely dominated the league like no one else ever has.

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2582 days ago

Horrible official who has a bias against certain teams/players. This guy referees a game like hes a spectator rooting for one team over the other rather than making each call objectively.

He was a soft player when he played with almost no game, and now displays the same approach as an official. You'd think a guy with some NBA experience would have a better grasp of the game, but this guy just sucks!

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2597 days ago

Very good player. One of the best power forwards in the league. I believe he is at times underrated.

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2597 days ago

He was a huge dissapointment, no doubt about that. But he is a good backup and might be a starter for a few teams.

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2597 days ago

Bear is the greatest! He does stunts and pleases the crowd like none other.

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2610 days ago

Lin was truly a fad in every sense of the word. I recently saw a t-shirt of his marked down to $5 at an outlet mall.

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2616 days ago

He always says yes but the answer is pretty consistantly no!

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