The NBA Finals are in full swing, and with Game 4 approaching, it is time for some early Finals MVP picks. In this article, I will give two potential picks from each team along with their cases for Finals MVP. Without further ado, let’s get started with the team holding the lead: the Phoenix Suns.
If the series continues to go down the path that it is currently on, Phoenix is slated to win in Game 7 as each team has successfully defended their home court thus far. If that remains true, there may be no better candidate for Finals MVP than Chris Paul.
Paul has taken a former bottom-dweller of a team and made them true contenders. Paul has been instrumental in the development of the young players, and he has often acted as a strong voice in the huddle and locker room. What Paul has done for this team is undeniable, but the Finals MVP is also about stats. Let’s take a look at his numbers in the Finals so far.
Through the three games played so far in the Finals, Paul has averaged 24.7 points per game, 2.7 rebounds per game, and 8.7 assists per game. CP3 has also been a catalyst for the Suns’ offense, and he is the go-to player when Phoenix needs a momentum shift.
If Phoenix claims the title of Champions, Chris Paul is nearly a shoo-in to win Finals MVP.
If Chris Paul does not win the Finals MVP, the next logical recipient would be Deandre Ayton. Although many may expect Devin Booker to be the next choice, Booker’s struggles through the start of the series may bar him from receiving the coveted trophy.
Ayton has been spectacular throughout the season, but especially through these playoffs. Ayton has been a machine on the boards and has been a defensive nightmare when guarding Giannis. Through the first three games of the Finals, Ayton has averaged 16.7 points per game, 13.0 rebounds per game, and 1.3 assists per game.
Averaging a double-double in the NBA Finals is no easy feat, but Ayton has been a defensive force. If Paul does not win Finals MVP, look for Ayton to be the name called if the Suns can close it out.
If the Milwaukee Bucks can turn the tide and win the NBA Finals, no one is more deserving than the Greek Freak. Giannis has lived up to the insane amount of hype surrounding him, and he has shown out game after game in this series.
Through the first three games, Giannis has averaged 34.3 points per game, 14 rebounds per game, and 4.7 assists per game. To put it simply, Giannis is the team right now. Without Giannis, the Suns would be wrapping the series up in 4 games tonight.
Due to the amazing play from the young superstar, the Bucks are not out. If the Bucks can steal a game in Phoenix and win their home games, look for Giannis to be crowned Finals MVP.
I am not going to spend much time on Middleton because I feel like Giannis will win the Finals MVP if the Bucks can pull it out. However, for the sake of argument, I have listed Khris Middleton as the next in line. Look, injuries happen. They aren’t fun, and nobody likes them. Giannis sat out early in Game 3 before returning, so if he continues to see spurts of rest, Middleton would be the next to step up.
Jrue Holiday has not quite met expectations this series, but Middleton has cemented his name as a valuable player in the NBA. Through the Finals, Middleton is averaging 19.3 points per game, 6.7 rebounds per game, and 6.0 assists per game. These numbers do not jump off the stat sheet, but they are respectable. They may be enough to make a case for Finals MVP if Giannis drops off significantly.
Personally, I believe the Suns will hang on and win the Finals, and Chris Paul will secure the Finals MVP trophy. This has been one of the more entertaining Finals, and I hope this series goes to seven games purely for selfish reasons.
If Milwaukee steals a game, I am taking Giannis as Finals MVP.
What do you think? Let me know on my Twitter @j_vlosich! All stats are from espn.com.