Iguodala Should Not Be Ashamed of Earning NBA Finals MVP

Yes, we all know LeBron James was a monster who single-handedly carried the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2015 NBA Finals that concluded last night with the Golden St. Warriors winning the series 4 games to 2 and hoisting the trophy for the first time in 40 years. Yet, the selection of Andre Iguodala as MVP of the NBA finals was a fitting choice.iggy

People want to say LeBron was the most valuable player to his team because he averaged 35.8 points a game in this series. He finished game 6 with 32 points, 18 rebounds, and nine assists averaged nearly a triple double throughout the series. However, James brought the ball up the court on most possessions throughout the series after point guard Kyrie Irving fractured his knee cap and missed the remainder of the series. Therefore, I would have expected LeBron’s stats to be similar to where they ended up in the series. Having the ball in his hands more than any other player allowed James to take more shots and also hand out more assists.

James shot 40 percent in the finals, but it dropped to 35.1 percent when guarded by Iguodala, according to ESPN Stats & Information data. In the series clinching game 6 loss, James shot 13-33 from the field while going 4-8 from the line. From beyond the three-point arc, he shot 2-10.

Meanwhile, Iguodala averaged 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4 assists per game this series despite only starting the last three games of the series which were his only starts of the entire season. Over the final three games of the series that were all won by the Warriors, Iguodala averaged 39 minutes, 20.3 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

Iguodala’s insertion into the lineup in game 4 was a difference maker for the Warriors. It sent Andrew Bogut to the bench and allowed the Warriors to play an up tempo style of play. Coach Steve Kerr chose to stay small in games 5 and 6 and the Warriors responded by picking up wins to close out the series.

Defensively, it may look like Iguodala did not do much stopping James. However, James shot just 30 percent on shots contested by Iguodala. When contested by anyone else, James shot 42 percent in the series. Offensively, he was boss in game 6 sharing the team lead in points with 25. He went 9-20 from the field by either slashing to the hoop, pulling up and shooting, or draining three shots from beyond the three-point line.

If Kerr had not made the decision to insert Iguodala into his starting lineup, I believe the Cavaliers would have won the series 4 games to 2.

And that’s as I see it!

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Internal photo courtesy of http://www.usatoday.com

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