LeBron James is the most dominant player in NBA history, but that wasn’t always the case. Here’s how Golden State Warriors’ Finals MVP Kevin Durant came up with his tactic to stop LeBron in Game 3 of The 2018 NBA Finals.
The “nba finals mvp list” is a list of the NBA Finals MVPs. The list includes all of the players, who have won the award since its inception in 1957.
The adage “defense wins championships” seems to be as ancient as sports itself. Andre Iguodala, who is currently back with the Golden State Warriors, earned the NBA Finals MVP award for his defense. In 2015, Iguodala was named Finals MVP after the Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers for the title. While he put up good offensive statistics in the series, it was his defense of Cavaliers superstar LeBron James that propelled him to the top of the poll.
In a series in which James averaged 35.8 points and 8.8 assists per game, that’s saying something. However, he only received 39.8% of the vote, owing to the fact that he was a solo performer rather than a member of the Big Three. Kevin Love was forced to sit out the Finals due to a shoulder ailment. After breaking his patella, Kyrie Irving missed all except Game 1. During a podcast episode, Iguodala spoke defending LeBron James.
Andre Iguodala may be the least probable MVP candidate in the NBA Finals.
Andre Iguodala won the NBA Finals MVP award in 2015 for his defensive play against LeBron James, and the veteran recently discussed his approach to the job. | AFP/Getty Images/Timothy A. Clary)
When one looks at the list of NBA Finals MVPs from the award’s inception in 1969, it reads like a Who’s Who of basketball greats. The list goes on and on: Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Moses Malone, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant…
There have, however, been anomalies. Cedric Maxwell started for the Boston Celtics on two championship teams. He is also one of only two qualified winners not in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame despite earning Finals MVP honors in 1981. (Chauncey Billups is the other).
Andre Iguodala will almost certainly be included on that list. According to Basketball-Reference, he has a 6.1 percent probability of being inducted. Iguodala won the Bill Russell Trophy in the 2015 NBA Finals after averaging 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.3 steals in 37.0 minutes per game. He made 52.1 percent of his shots overall and 40 percent of his three-point attempts (we’ll ignore his 10-of-28 performance at the foul line).
The emphasis of the award, though, was on his defensive performance against James. In the series, the King put up massive counting statistics, but he had to work hard to acquire them. In the series, James took around 33 shots per game (was Cleveland going all-in with Timofey Mozgov?).
Iguodala is the only NBA Finals MVP who did not start every game in his championship series. Iggy started the last three games after coming off the bench in the first three.
In terms of his defense of James, he’s a liar. Even he isn’t going to take all the credit.
Andre Iguodala discusses how he defends LeBron James.
Andre Iguodala participated on The Draymond Green Show podcast with teammate Draymond Green. The technique to guarding LeBron James was one of the themes explored. Andrew Wiggins, a teammate, approached the veteran for advice.
One part of the work, Iguodala was adamant about:
“It’s not so much about stopping him… because you won’t be able to.”
Andre Iguodala on LeBron James’ defense
Instead, the two-time All-Defensive selection said that protecting James was more about having the right attitude. On the opposite side of the room, there was a similar thinking.
Iguodala said, “It’s just about beating him to the place before he gets there.” “And it all begins when [Stephen Curry] takes the shot. So as soon as Steph hit the ball, I’d look for LeBron and ask, “All right, where’s he at, and at what point of attack will he be taking the ball out of bounds?” That was the first thought that sprang to me.”
Green also inquired about Iguodala’s prospects of being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Green went so far as to remark that it irritated him when people dismissed Iguodala’s prospects, but the soon-to-be 38-year-old veteran had a different perspective.
“If it comes, it arrives,” says the narrator. Iguodala said, “If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.” “And, as I previously said, the influence our generation of basketball players will have will only grow with each passing generation, demonstrating maturity.” It demonstrates evolution.”
Was Curry deserving of the NBA Finals MVP award in 2015? Didn’t LeBron James do it?
Between 2015 and 2018, the Golden State Warriors won three titles. However, their top player, Curry, was left out of the NBA Finals vote. In 2015, Andre Iguodala won, and Durant won in 2017 and 2018.
Curry vs. Iguodala is still a hot topic of discussion. Even Iguodala has said that he believes Curry should have one.
Iguodala discussed the award with NBA veteran Trevor Ariza during a July visit on JJ Redick’s podcast The Old Man and the Three.
“He should be the MVP of the Finals.” ‘I’m not even that talented, like, I lucked out and got one,’ I said. ‘What?’ Trev exclaimed. And I was like, ‘I’m OK, like, I’m fine.’ I’d prefer Steph win the MVP award in the Finals.”
Ariza vehemently disagrees with Iguodala’s version of the events.
Of course, the NBA had to dismiss an allegation made by Fox Sports 1’s Nick Wright concerning manipulated voting for the 2015 NBA Finals MVP. In a since-deleted tweet, Wright claimed that three media members switched their votes from Curry to Iguodala after learning of a tie between Iguodala and LeBron James.
In response to Wright, Tim Frank, the NBA’s senior vice president of communications, tweeted that the news was false.
Given Golden State’s great start, Curry may have a chance to add that trophy to his collection. In any case, Andre Iguodala has his equipment. That’s in part because, although he didn’t stop LeBron James, he did make The King’s 2015 NBA Finals more difficult.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
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