I wouldn’t have argued loudly had Lebron James won the Finals MVP, but it wasn’t a travesty that Andre Iguodola took home the trophy.
This wasn’t written to downplay Lebron’s monstrous series, I don’t think I could do that if I wanted to, but more to those fans that think Andre Iguodola didn’t deserve the Finals MVP.
It’s About Winning More Than Anything
As with the regular season MVP award, “Most Valuable” leaves room for many interpretations, but when it comes down to it, winning is the most influential factor that plays into those votes, and rightly so.
Still, we get a bunch of people arguing about individual stats. That’s all well and good, but doing so on a losing team severely diminishes your stats when it comes down to awards. There’s a premium on winning in the NBA for dozens of reasons, and not a lot of incentive to lose (unless you’re tanking to get a better chance in the NBA Draft).
The silly argument I hear most often usually starts with a player’s perceived or imaginary importance to the team:
Well if Lebron wasn’t on the Cavs, they wouldn’t ______ …. or without Steph Curry, the Warriors still win 40 games
So we’re giving out awards based on things that didn’t happen? How about we give awards based on events that did happen on Earth? The goal of both teams in the NBA Finals is take home the championship trophy, and the player that impacts the winning team’s chances most usually takes home the Finals MVP.
I don’t know what happens in an alternate universe, but what I do know is that Iguodola changed the series for the Warriors in game four.
“He saved the season for us.” said Draymond Green
Despite LeBron’s record numbers, Iguodola deserved a lot of credit for slowing him down (LeBron shot less than 40% from the field). On the other side of the ball, Iggy created for his teammates and made the Cavs pay for leaving him open. Iguodola also hit big shots, came up with big rebounds and critical steals.
To help some of you that are caught up on LeBron, I’ll use this analogy: Iguodola was the Warrior’s Lebron James averaging 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4 assists and shooting 52.1 percent from the field.
Iggy may not have set records but it;s no stretch to call him the MVP for the Warriors in this series, a series that Golden State won 4-2.