While the NBA Finals has suddenly become compelling, so has the debate for series MVP. If Cleveland wins, the MVP would go to LeBron James or Kyrie Irving. But if the Warriors win?
It’s wide open.
“I’ll tell you this: If the Warriors come back and play unbelievable defense, is Draymond Green the MVP of the series having missed a game?” NBA Analyst Tim Capstraw asked on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “That’s entirely possible. If he proves his value . . . you really couldn’t pick anybody on the Warriors. It’ll be interesting to see if that could be a possibility.”
Green, of course, missed Game 5, which the Warriors lost, 112-97, at home. It was their fourth home loss all season and their second of the playoffs. Interestingly, Green leads the Warriors in rebounding (9.7 per game), assists (5.9), steals (1.6) and blocks (1.9) this postseason and had a monster 28-point game in Game 2. Green scored just 15 points combined in Games 3 and 4, but he also had 19 rebounds, 11 assists and four blocks.
The Cavs, meanwhile, have been the LeBron-and-Kyrie show. Irving has scored 30+ points in three straight games, including the 41 he had in Game 5. James, meanwhile, has been his usual dominant all-around self. He leads the Cavs in all five major statistical categories this postseason and if averaging 28.0 points, 12.0 rebounds, 8.0 assists, 2.4 steals and 2.0 blocks in the Finals.
“Really, to see the growth and maturity of Kyrie Irving on the other side is an awful lot of fun, along with the attitude and approach of LeBron James,” Capstraw said. “This is a lot of fun. I think there’s great drama and it’s really, really enjoyable.”
One player who is definitely not in the MVP running is Kevin Love, who had just two points and three rebounds in Game 5. Love had 17 points and 13 rebounds in Game 1 but has just 18 points and 11 rebounds in his three games since.
“Kevin Love, I’m not sure where he fits,” Capstraw said. “He may never fit again in Cleveland, but it’s interesting how it’s playing out. I’m not a plus-minus guy, but he was still plus-18 (in Game 5). He was on the floor. It doesn’t seem like he does a lot, but he was okay when he was on the floor. In my mind, he’s got to get more rebounds. He’s got to get more loose balls. So often this year, the game came to him with open threes. He’s just got to go mix it up like everybody else and just go after it and try to do some damage on the interior and try to rebound the ball and be a factor that way.”