Only one player in NBA history has won more than three Finals MVP awards — Michael Jordan has six, having earned the award during each of the six championship series he won with the Bulls.
Lakers forward LeBron James, one of four players to have been named Finals MVP three times, has a chance to win the award for a fourth time this year against Miami. And the odds are in his favor.
As we noted on Tuesday, the Lakers are fairly heavily favored to win this year’s Finals. And James, who has been named MVP each of the last three times his team has won a title, is the odds-on favorite to earn the award again if the Lakers win this year. At BetOnline.ag, he’s listed at -165 for Finals MVP, meaning you’d have to risk $165 to earn a $100 profit on a winning bet.
If you expect the Lakers to win this year’s championship, James is the safe bet. He finished second in 2019/20 regular-season MVP voting, and is leading the Lakers in a number of postseason statistics, including 10.3 RPG and 8.9 APG.
However, LeBron isn’t the only superstar on his team. Anthony Davis has been the Lakers’ leading scorer during the playoffs, with 28.8 RPG on .571/.366/.810 shooting — all of those percentages are better than James’ shooting rates. And it’s Davis who is considered the anchor of Los Angeles’ stout defense, having finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting this season. So even if the Lakers win this year’s title, it could be Davis, not James, that takes home the Finals MVP award.
Of course, if the Lakers can’t defeat the Heat, the odds of LeBron earning Finals MVP honors fall off drastically. James received some votes for the award back in 2015, when he averaged 35.8 PPG, 13.3 RPG, and 8.8 APG in a losing cause. But even then, with no clear-cut choice on the Warriors, losing the series meant losing out on the Finals MVP award. Andre Iguodala, whose numbers (16.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 4.0 APG) were pedestrian by comparison to LeBron, received more MVP votes.
What do you think? Will LeBron make history by becoming the second player in NBA history to win a fourth Finals MVP award? Or will he be beaten out for this year’s award by a teammate – presumably Davis – or a Heat player?
Vote in our poll, then head to the comment section below to share your thoughts!
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