June 15, 2015

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 12 comments

Has a member of the losing team ever won Finals MVP in the NBA? LeBron James is unquestionably the MVP of the series but I can't imagine the NBA being willing to give the MVP to a member of the losing team.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 08:21 AM on June 15

I can't imagine the NBA being willing to give the MVP to a member of the losing team.

I would say no too, with the caveat that Adam Silver seems like the most likely commissioner in a long time to actually consider something like this. Anyone else getting this award is going to look like a total sham and he seems like the kind of guy to favour logic over tradition, at least somewhat.

Jerry West won it in 1969 on a losing team, so it's been nearly half a century since it happened. The time is right.

posted by dfleming at 09:25 AM on June 15

Absolutely disagree. Stephen Curry *has* to be the MVP of the series. To say otherwise would run counter to my SpoFi Pick 'Em prediction that he would win the MVP. Nuff said!!1!

posted by NoMich at 09:38 AM on June 15

I wonder if it is more likely for Lebron to win MVP if the Warriors win game 6 and the award is being handed out in Cleveland rather than if the series goes to 7, and they would have to interrupt Golden State's celebration at home to hand a trophy to the defeated.

posted by bender at 09:42 AM on June 15

If the Warriors win and they don't give the award to LeBron, they have to find some way to acknowledge what he has done in this series. His effort needs to be immortalized the way Willis Reed's Game 7 in 1970 has been. This is sustained heroic effort in the face of tremendous odds.

posted by beaverboard at 10:19 AM on June 15

LeBron wins the MVP if the Cavs win the series. Duh.

If the Warriors win in 6 games, then I think LeBron wins the MVP if it goes to OT or he puts up some insane numbers (say, 50 points, or 30/20/20) and Curry is just "good". If the Warriors stomp the exhausted Cavs in game 6 (win by more than 15 points), then Curry gets the award.

If the Warriors win in 7 games, and LeBron is the leading scorer for the entire series, then I think he wins the MVP. If Curry has more points, he gets the award.

posted by grum@work at 11:38 AM on June 15

Players from the losing team have won MVP (Conn Smythe) in the NHL a few times. Always a goalie who's dragged his team to the finals IIRC.

posted by rumple at 12:46 PM on June 15

Speaking of basketball (which I don't really follow) but not the current series, I thought this image of a recent LA Lakers team free throw percentage in practice vs free throw percentage in games was pretty interesting, to see who drops off the most under pressure.

(Not sure how to do inline images that aren't the wrong size)

posted by rumple at 12:48 PM on June 15

That's from the 2012-13 season (the only time Howard, Nash, and Peace were all on the Lakers at the same time).

posted by grum@work at 01:56 PM on June 15

see who drops off the most under pressure.

And when tired. That would be an easier thing to work on, talking to them about consistency of form.

posted by yerfatma at 02:58 PM on June 15

It seems like these top flight athletes should be able to, tired or not, just metronomically drain 95% of free throws. I mean, look what those biathlon athletes can do when completely maxxed out.

But basketball has never been my thing mainly because I never grew past the knee high stage, so who knows. I was more of a low centre of gravity rugby player wherein finesse under stress was actually maladaptive.

posted by rumple at 05:55 PM on June 15

Has a member of the losing team ever won Finals MVP in the NBA?

Jerry West, LA Lakers, 1969. He had a game 7 vs Boston (42 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists) that was as enormous as any of James' efforts. LA lost by 2 after coming back from a 15-point deficit entering the 4th quarter. Don Nelson hit a desperation 18-footer to beat the shot clock when John Havlicek had the ball batted away, but it went directly to Nelson. A free throw for Boston and a late 2-point shot for LA determined the final margin. For the series, West averaged 37.9 ppg, while playing 43.9 minutes.

posted by Howard_T at 11:07 PM on June 15

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