NBA Finals MVP: If not LeBron, then Curry

The scorecard, 7-4, for the NBA Finals MVP was between Andre Iguodala and LeBron James with a glaring omission… Stephen Curry, who didn’t receive a single vote.  There have been differing opinions all over the board.

Neil Greenberg for the Washington Post:

“Iguodala finished the series with averages of 16.3 points, four assists and 5.8 rebounds, shooting 52.1 percent from the field. However, he wasn’t the most valuable player on his own team or in any one game, let alone the entire series... According to Michael Beuoy’s “kitchen sink” win probability added, which quantifies the win probability contributions for every box score stat we can measure and attribute at the player level, Iguodala ranked fourth overall in the Finals, behind James, Curry and Draymond Green.”

Jack Winter for uproxx

But Iguodala was merely the biggest beneficiary of Curry’s all-encompassing threat and Draymond Green’s all-court versatility. Why was he afforded so much space to operate in the halfcourt? Due to Cleveland’s ultra-aggressive ball-screen coverage on Curry. And why were the Cavaliers forced to guard him with an overmatched big man? Because Green is a stout enough rebounder, rim-protector, and individual defender to not be frequently outmuscled by Mozgov and Tristan Thompson.

81.5 percent of Iguodala’s scores versus Cleveland were assisted. The nearest defender on all but nine of his 37 made field goals was Mozgov, Thompson or 34-year-old James Jones. Those stats, obviously, have the fingerprints of Curry and Green all over them.

He also noted:

…To be fair, Iguodala did a yeoman’s job defending James. When they shared the court James had a net rating of minus-15.5 and was held to a true shooting percentage of 46.4 percent, which skyrocketed to a net rating of plus-18.8 and 50.9 percent true shooting when they didn’t.

Eric Freeman writing for Yahoo

However, there was no doubt which Warrior was most deserving of the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Award as Golden State closed out its first title in 40 years in Tuesday’s Game 6 win at Quicken Loans Arena. Iguodala was the Warriors’ most consistent player of the series, averaging 16.3 points (52.1 percent from the field, 40 percent from deep), 5.8 rebounds and four assists over 36.8 minutes per game while serving as Golden State’s primary defender on James. Plus, Iguodala’s entry into the starting lineup in Game 4 in place of All-Defensive Second Team honoree Andrew Bogut helped turn the series to the Warriors’ favor.

SI.com’s Staff say the decision was obvious:

Lee Jenkins wrote:  “If LeBron James doesn’t win MVP, that’s essentially an admission that a player on the losing team can’t win the award, which is fine, except then the name should probably be changed..

Chris Manix:  “It takes unique circumstances to give the MVP award to a player on a losing team, but this is a unique situation. Even in defeat, James has been the most overwhelmingly dominant player.”

Michael Rosenberg:  “The title is “Most Valuable Player,” not “Most Valuable Player On The Winning Team,” and anybody watching this series understands James has been far more valuable than Steph Curry, Andre Iguodala or anybody else on Golden State’s roster.”

If LeBron had won the MVP it would have been deserving and justified.  He played out of his mind.  He had basically the New York Knicks roster and won two games in the finals.  My hangup with Iguodala having won the award, is he didn’t carry the team.  Steph carried the team.  Steph Curry came into his own at the end of game 3.  That is the main reason they didn’t lose another game, it wasn’t because Andre Iguodala was in the lineup, it was because MVP Steph returned.

To suggest that Iguodala did some sort of wizardry guarding LeBron James, when LeBron garnered votes for Finals MVP on the losing team seems to get lost.  He didn’t do a MVP job, else LeBron wouldn’t have been so impactful.  The fact that LeBron didn’t shoot as well with Andre Iguodala guarding him can be chalked up to a couple of different things.  LeBron was gassed by the 4th game.  He was playing an inordinate amount of minutes carrying a terrible team.  They also played from behind a lot of the time in the later games which fosters ineffeciency.  Andre Iguodala isn’t as good of a defender as Kawhi Leonard who couldn’t keep LeBron’s efficiency down, meaning LeBron wasn’t slowed down by Iguodala, but by the process.  Curry was huge in 4th quarters and stepped up when needed.  He garnered the most attention, and delivered biggest when needed.

If not LeBron, then Curry.

Net Neutrality

The vote over the so called “Net Neutrality” by the FCC is over, but we have yet to see the real impact that will come from this reclassifiction of Internet traffic.There are lots of reasons that Net Neutrality is good.  Any advocate for it can list off many reasons why it is great.

On SaveTheInternet.com they give this are their main point:

Net Neutrality is the Internet’s guiding principle: It preserves our right to communicate freely online. This is the definition of an open Internet.

Net Neutrality means an Internet that enables and protects free speech. It means that Internet service providers should provide us with open networks — and should not block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks. Just as your phone company shouldn’t decide who you can call and what you say on that call, your ISP shouldn’t be concerned with the content you view or post online.

Without Net Neutrality, cable and phone companies could carve the Internet into fast and slow lanes. An ISP could slow down its competitors’ content or block political opinions it disagreed with. ISPs could charge extra fees to the few content companies that could afford to pay for preferential treatment — relegating everyone else to a slower tier of service. This would destroy the open Internet.

The ACLU also puts in their 2 cents:

The Internet has become so much a part of the lives of most Americans that it is easy to imagine that it will always remain the free and open medium it is now. We’d like to believe it will remain a place where you can always access any lawful content you want, and where the folks delivering that content can’t play favorites because they disagree with the message being delivered or want to charge more money for faster delivery.
But there are no such guarantees.
If the government doesn’t act soon, this open internet — and the “network neutrality” principles that sustain it — could be a thing of the past. Profits and corporate disfavor of controversial viewpoints or competing services could change both what you can see on the Internet and the quality of your connection. And the need to monitor what you do online in order to play favorites means even more consumer privacy invasions piled on top of the NSA’s prying eyes.
Even the White House is jumping on the Band Wagon:
More than any other invention of our time, the Internet has unlocked possibilities we could just barely imagine a generation ago. And here’s a big reason we’ve seen such incredible growth and innovation: Most Internet providers have treated Internet traffic equally. That’s a principle known as “net neutrality” — and it says that an entrepreneur’s fledgling company should have the same chance to succeed as established corporations, and that access to a high school student’s blog shouldn’t be unfairly slowed down to make way for advertisers with more money.
There are not many people who will disagree with these points. However, Net Neutrality is not really what the FCC vote is about.  For one thing, the US government can not set policy for the entire world, although many countries follow where the US leads.  Internet traffic is not strictly a US commodity, although the US is dominant.  The real meaning behind the FCC vote is whether or not the US Government is going to take a more active role in how and where it regulates Internet traffic in the US.
Joshua Steimle from Forbes has this to say regarding the true point of the FCC’s vote:
While I have no problem with net neutrality as a principle or concept, I have serious concerns about Net Neutrality as legislation or public policy.
Mark Cuban, who made his billions as a tech entrepreneur, gives a great interview on CNBC that really should be listened to:
The Courts will rule the Internet…All bits are bits, all bits are equal.

He then expands upon this on The Blaze:

…the Internet isn’t perfect, but slowing down or reversing its progress by giving the government control is not the answer.
As the real impact of this vote starts to become more apparent, I think that more and more people will realize that government regulation does not equal Net Neutrality.  Another wrinkle is that as Presidential administrations change, the regulation will change to match the political views of the current US President.  This is not the Net Neutrality that was presented to the general populace.  The upside of this is that is was a vote by the FCC, what is to stop them from voting again to change the regulations they have now imposed?
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