NBA Playoffs 2013: Setting Odds for Finals MVP Candidates
Tony Parker has won an NBA Finals MVP before, but there's a chance he could be overtaken by one of his teammates in the 2013 NBA playoffs should the San Antonio Spurs win.
Heading into Game 6 on Tuesday night, June 18 (9 p.m. ET), San Antonio leads the series, 3-2. No team has been able to win two games straight to this point in the series, but the Miami Heat must do so in order to bounce back and win.
Judging solely on the way the series has played out thus far, here's an updated look at how the Finals MVP race stacks up.
Danny Green, San Antonio Spurs: 5-1 Odds
Should San Antonio continue on to win this series and Green continue to pour in three-point shots at his record-breaking pace, he'll win the Finals MVP.
Through five games, Green has made 25 shots from behind the mark, breaking Ray Allen's all-time record in a Finals series, as noted by Numbers Never Lie:
Danny Green has just broken the record for THE MOST 3-pointers made in NBA Finals history with 23.— Numbers Never Lie (@ESPN_Numbers) June 17, 2013
With another hot game, Green has a chance to break another prestigious record, according to ESPN's Jared Zwerling:
Another 3-pt record on the line: Danny Green is now five 3s shy of Reggie Miller’s 58 in 2000, the most in a single playoffs in NBA history.— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) June 17, 2013
Green hasn't been a one-trick pony in this series, either. Besides his red-hot shooting, which is impressive enough on its own, Green has been solid on the boards and has been excellent on the defensive end of the court.
For the series, Green is averaging 18 points, four rebounds, one assist, 1.6 blocks and 0.8 steals. He's been the most consistent producer on offensefor the Spurs and has been absolutely critical to the team's three wins thus far.
Which Spurs player deserves the MVP more?
Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs: 7-1 Odds
If not for a sore hamstring that has somewhat hampered his ability to impact his team, Parker would likely be the odds-on favorite to win the Finals MVP this year.
As it is, the Frenchman is still managing to dissect Miami's defense on a regular basis, even in his condition.
Miami knows Parker is deadly as a scorer down low, so whenever he drives into the lane, defenders collapse and try to stop him from scoring easy buckets.
It's Parker's penetration into the paint that allows teammates like Green, Manu Ginobili and Gary Neal to end up with so many wide-open three-point shots. He's the catalyst for San Antonio's offensive attack and when he struggles, so do the Spurs.
Parker also has a flair for the dramatic. On a gimpy leg in Game 5, he set the tone for San Antonio with an aggressive mentality and had his best game of the series with 26 points to lead the Spurs in scoring.
Should Parker have another huge game in a Spurs' win in Game 6, he could easily win his second career Finals MVP.
LeBron James, Miami Heat: 8-1 Odds
If Miami comes back and wins this series with two straight home victories, you can be sure James will have everything to do with the improbable feat.
San Antonio will be extremely difficult to beat two games in a row, and history suggests it isn't going to happen in this series, as ESPN Stats & Info illustrates:
Spurs lead NBA Finals 3-2 with games 6-7 on the road. Since 2002-03, Spurs are NBA-best 14-2 in potential series-clinching games on the road— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 17, 2013
Spurs: have not lost consecutive games with Duncan-Parker-Ginobili all in lineup since Dec. 12-13, 2012.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 17, 2013
Obviously, James can't win the series by himself, but there's no doubt who the most valuable player for Miami is game in and game out.
For the series, James' overall numbers are way down on the offensive side of the ball.
James will ____ in Game 6?
He has been struggling with his shooting touch, hitting just 43.6 percent of his field-goal attempts. James has averaged 21.6 points and dished out 6.8 assists in the Finals—well below his seasonal and playoff averages.
Rather than sulk and pout, however, James has redoubled his efforts on the glass and as a defender, averaging 10.8 rebounds, one block and 2.2 steals. Furthermore, his fighting spirit has never waned, and he's the clear leader in Miami's clubhouse.
If the Heat find a way to win this series, there's no doubt James will win the Finals MVP.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78
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