NBA Playoffs 2012: Top 8 Players Who Can Win the NBA Finals MVP

Patrick BrittonAnalyst IMay 23, 2012

NBA Playoffs 2012: Top 8 Players Who Can Win the NBA Finals MVP

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    While the Larry O’Brien Trophy is the most prestigious award in basketball, no player is going to complain about winning Finals MVP. The first Finals MVP award was given out during the 1969 Finals and all of the all-time greats have won the award.

    From Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, to Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, you can’t be considered the “Greatest Ever” without winning at least one.

    Here are the eight players who have the best chance at winning it this season. 

8. Dwyane Wade

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    It’s not easy for a player to score only five points one game and still be in consideration for Finals MVP. However, Wade is just that good. He has posted 21.4 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game and two steals per game despite his horrible Game 3 performance in the second round.

    Wade is known to step up his game when it counts, winning Finals MVP when the Heat won the title in 2006 against the Dallas Mavericks. 

7. Rajon Rondo

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    The numbers Rondo has put up this series against the Sixers are incredible. Averaging 14.4 points per game, 14.6 assists per game and 6.6 rebounds per game, Rondo has shown you can be a great player in this league without a jump shot.

    Rondo has helped increase the play of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and deserves recognition if the Celtics are able to win another title this year. 

6. Tony Parker

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    Parker won MVP the last time San Antonio won a title and could win it again this season. The French point guard is averaging 19.1 points per game and 7.1 assists per game for the Spurs this postseason.

    While Duncan has been special so far, if Parker steps it up in the next two series, there’s no reason why he couldn’t win Finals MVP for the second time in his career. 

5. Russell Westbrook

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    There is no question that Durant is the best player on the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, Westbrook has been special this postseason. He put up over 25 points per game and shot .485 against the Lakers in the second round, ridiculous numbers for a point guard.

    Clearly the best scorer at his position, Westbrook winning Finals MVP if OKC wins the title is not a crazy thought. 

4. Kevin Garnett

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    After looking old and ready for retirement last season, Kevin Garnett greatly improved his game this offseason and looks like the Garnett of old. He is putting up 20 points per game and over 10 rebounds per game against the Philadelphia Sixers in the first five games of the Celtics' second-round series.

    Ray Allen is no longer the player he was a few years ago, yet the Celtics continue to win because of “The Big Ticket.”

3. LeBron James

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    LeBron put up one of the best regular seasons in NBA history this year, and took home his third MVP award because of it. Now he needs to win a Finals MVP.

    After putting up a ridiculous stat line in Game 4 of 40 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists, LeBron showed he’s more than just a guy who puts up numbers in the regular season. If the Heat are able to win without Chris Bosh, LeBron definitely deserves MVP.  

2. Kevin Durant

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    If the Thunder win the title this spring, Durant will be the main reason why. Durant is maybe the best pure scorer in the NBA and has raised his overall game this year. He is a much better defender than he was his rookie year and is also an improved rebounder and passer.

    Durant put up 26.8 points per game, 8.6 rebounds per game and shot .516 from the field against the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round. 

1. Tim Duncan

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    The Spurs have not lost a game this postseason, and although Gregg Popovich and Tony Parker have helped a lot, Duncan is the main reason why. Last series against a talented Clippers squad, he put up 21 points per game, 9.3 rebounds per game, two blocks per game and shot .594 from the field.

    He has been a force offensively and defensively and is an excellent leader. Right now he is the favorite to win his fourth Finals MVP.