NBA / Jun 21, 2010 / 5:00 pm

The Dime NBA Finals Awards: The Only Awards That Matter

Words. Camron Ghorbi & Rey Jefferson

Ever since 1969, the League has awarded the Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals with a trophy named after Bill Russell. And while Paul Pierce stormed through the playoffs to win the award in 2008, it was Kobe Bryant who captured his second straight Finals MVP in 2010. Although the NBA’s playoff award system begins and ends with the Finals MVP, here’s a full rundown of those deserving of some love after some impressive Finals performances:

MVP: Kobe Bryant
David Stern and Co. definitely got this one right. Even after a disappointing Game 7 performance shooting wise, finishing 6-for-24 from the field and 0-for-6 from three-point range, Mamba locked up his second Finals MVP by averaging 28.6 points in the series. And on a night when he wasn’t shooting his usual lights out, he contributed in other ways: 15 boards and defense in Derek Fisher‘s absence that held Ray Allen to 13 points on 3-of-14 shooting. In Boston, Kobe single-handedly willed his team onward in Games 4 and 5 with a combined 71 points. No doubt about this one.
Runner-Up: Pau Gasol

Defensive Player of the Series: Ron Artest
The only thing Lakers fans enjoyed more than Artest’s press conference after Game 7 (more on that later) was his defense on Pierce in his first ever trip to the Finals. The Celtics’ captain, whose 18-point Finals average was boosted by his meaningless 24 points in Game 1, was held to 10 points in Game 2, 15 in Game 3 and 13 in Game 6. After Pierce won the Finals MVP back in 2008, averaging over 21 points per game for the series, it was clear that the Lakers needed to do a better job defending Pierce this time around. With Ron-Ron’s help, they accomplished their goal.
Runner-Up: Ray Allen

6th Man: Glen Davis
Although Davis averaged a little over six points and five rebounds in the Finals, his impact could not be measured in personal statistics. Davis won the award for his energy off the bench for a team in need of a spark. Big Baby’s effort in the paint alone has earned him countless minutes under Doc Rivers. On the night he said he was feeling like a “beast,” he scored 18 huge points off the bench and teamed up with his partner-in-crime Nate Robinson for a Celtics victory in Game 4.
Runner-Up: Tony Allen

Best Individual Performance: Ray Allen’s first half of Game 2
Six three-pointers in a game is impressive in its own right, but six in one half of a Finals game is simply unheard of. Allen single-handedly shot himself into the NBA record books in Game 2, finishing with the most three-pointers ever made in a single Finals game (8) as the Celtics stole a game in Los Angeles. On a night when Celtic and Laker fans alike anticipated each and every Allen stroke, the sharpshooter’s 32 points led the Celtics to victory.
Runner-Up: Kobe Bryant’s third quarter of Game 5

Most Improved: Pau Gasol
Even Gasol’s crazy Finals averages (18.6 points, 11.6 rebounds, 2.6 blocks) do not do the Spaniard justice in recognizing his contributions to the seven-game series. After he was criticized for his soft play against the Celtic frontcourt in 2008, the new-and-improved Gasol looked tougher, stronger and improved in every facet of play. He stood toe-to-toe with the big bad Celtics and, in the end, outlasted and out-toughened them at their own game.
Runner-Up: Rajon Rondo

Best Postgame Speech: Ron Artest’s Game 7 Post-Game
Combine Artest with a bottle of champagne, and the result is: CRAZINESS! That’s the only way to describe it.
Runner-Up: Nate Robinson and Glen Davis Game 4 Post-Game (“Shrek and Donkey”)

What do you think?

Follow Camron on Twitter at @the_killa_cam.

Follow Rey on Twitter at @reyrey33.

Follow Dime on Twitter at @DIMEMag.

Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • Joe’s Momma

    The Shrek-Donkey postgame compared to Ron Ron’s postgame is like comparing the NBA to the D-League, massive difference. Dude wasn’t even answering any questions, he was just talking like it was just you and me.

    No mention of Sheed for 6th man? He came to play, too bad he didn’t do anything during the regular season to ready his body for the playoff push. If he retires, and leaves 13 mil on the table, I would be disappointed. He still got game, he just needs to be proactive in the reg season. He just looked out of shape the whole year.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Eh. I’d debate you on the MVP. Pau deserved it more, but who’s going to vote against Kobe? Despite the fact that Kobe had a terrible, terrible shooting series and turned the ball over frequently, Pau was, as you noted in the “Most Improved” section, a beast. Just goes to show you: dominant big men still rule the league.

  • M-Intellect

    Not disagreeing with MVP but they lost Games 4 and 5?

  • wah

    Jordan had bad shooting nights in clinching games too….

  • THE analyst

    jordan was relentless, he was feared

  • A.R.

    @ THE analyst

    Are you saying Kobe isn’t? Haha please coaches all around shit their pants when Kobe has the ball in the final seconds

  • Dayo

    Ray Allen actually hit 7 3-point shots in the first half of game 2

  • Celts Fan

    While I’ll never say it’s crazy to give it to Kobe, I think it was Pau Gasol that shoulda been the MVP of the series. Look at those #s, and there weren’t as many clunkers thrown in there (Kobe had all of one game shooting over 50% and almost cost them game 7 w/ his first half gunning, of course he averaged 28ppg, he shot like 22 shots a game!) while Pau had a few clunkers himself, but his dominance on the offensive glass in game 7 was what truly did us in (he and Ron.) Speaking of Ron, you can’t just say it was on him why Pierce’s #s were so low. He got in foul trouble a few times (with some VERY BAD calls early on in the series.) When he was able to play, he played really well (except game 7.) If anything, I might give that award to Kobe, since he basically put Rondo back where he belongs in the top PGs argument (top 5, but def. below Deron, CP3, and Nash) instead of being argued for the top spot like some over-zealous reporters were trying to do after the first few rounds. His free-lancing also let him go after Ray some and make some strips/blocks because he was sagging off Rajon and he could never make him pay after the first couple games for sitting 7 feet away.

  • ERIC

    trophy wasnt named after bill russell until last year

  • SJ

    I’d have to go with Pau for Finals MVP and I really think the NBA should have considered someone other than the Kobester. I’m sure everyone knew going into this finals series that Kobe would get the MVP no matter how he or others played if the Lakers won. It was pre-written, and that’s pretty sad.

  • Andy

    I am amused about some commentaries, that Kobe is not feared. People compare him to Jordan, and say “oh, Michael was some sort of Darth Vader out there, the opposing teams took timeouts to change their underwear”. Yeah, sure, Kobe is a sinch to guard, and the guy isn’t feared by anyone, right? Hmmm… Let us remember game 5, 3rd quarter. Coach Rivers took a time-out to calm down his Celtics, WHO WERE PANICKED THAT KOBE WAS KILLING THEM!!!!Do you guys remember “we need to stay focused, it’s only 2 points?”and all those loooong Celtics faces?
    Yeah, nobody fears Kobe, and Jordan was the daddy. Dude lost some games too man, c’mon… Everybody hates Kobe because of stupid stuff, he’s selfish, he’s never ever gonna be like Mike, etc. I see the dude is barely 32, and has 5 rings, on a loaded team. And i remember the face of 3 future Hall of Famers ( KG, Pierce, Ray) terrified by this guy, who’s never gonna be like Mike. Let me tell you something else, too. In the modern age of the NBA, only 1 guy got close to the 100 scored by Wilt, with 81 points. Ans guess what: it wasn’t Mike. Mike was great, fantastic, but stop hating Kobe, and comping up with idiotic stuff like “people don’t fear him”. That’s borderline moronic.

  • Celts Fan

    @Andy – I agree w/ your points, long as you’re also admitting that Kobe can’t compare w/ Mike (and for the record, Jordan hit 69 once and 66 against one of the greatest teams ever in the Playoffs back in a time when you could clothesline guys and stay in the game, before the defensive rules changes were made to allow more scoring) but yes, the whole league fears him when he goes off. Anyone saying Kobe’s not feared both doesn’t know anything about ball and has never watched their team play him in a close game. That man is terrifying in close games, to the point that after the 3rd in game 7, I said something like, “Kobe’s playing like crap, but it’s the 4th now. It’s his time. We may be in some trouble” and 6 other Celtics fans just nodded depressingly.

  • roy

    I am accusing this writer of intellectual dishonesty. He conveniently omitted the fact that in averaging 28 points in the finals, Kobe hoisted an average of 25 shots on 40% shooting percentage. He also omitted the fact the Kobe only had 2 assists while commiting 4 errors in Game 7 and had to be bailed out by Artest and Gasol.

    Gasol averaged less than half field goal attempts with 12 a game on better than 47 % shooting percentage. The Lakers survived Kobe’s bad games in Games 3 and 7 but they couldn’t survive when Pau was off in Games 4 and 5. Gasol was the real MVP of the finals.

  • Andy

    @ Celts Fan
    I agree with you. Kobe will never be like Mike. Nor will he be like Oscar Robertson, Clyde Drexler, Dr J, Magic, and so on. This comparison needs to stop. I’m sick of it. Guys who played in different eras of the NBA, within different rules, you can’t compare them. We need to stop doing this. Also, Kobe is completely different from MJ. First, MJ was shorter. Second, MJ didn’t have Kobe’s range, he relied more on speed to blow past guys, and pull up for J’s, whilst Kobe shoots with guys in his face. I also think Kobe has slightly better fottwork, but MJ was a better athlete. I saw both of them play, and there are quite a lot of similarities between them ( Kobe himself admits he learned a lot from MJ), but they are different players. Sure, SG both of them, but quite different. I respect Mike for what he did to the game, but everybody has to respect Kobe as well, for continuing what Mike did. The guy gets a lot of hate, yet everybody watches when their team is playing LA.
    I also want to say clearly that in my mind, MJ is ot the best player ever. Kobe isn’t either. There is no such thing as the greatest ever, when you start comparing guys from today with guys who were in their prime 20,30,40 years ago. I mean, look, Russell has 11 rings! 11!!! Wilt was a force in his day! Oscar averaged a triple double for a season! Kareem scored more points than anyone. All of these guys were fantastic to watch. Kobe has a shot at winning 6, or perhaps even 7 titles. That makes him imeediately better than Mike? Or, if he doesn’t win any other titles, will that definitely put him below Mike? That’s silly. Mike was fantastic, and so is Kobe. But they were completely different players. They only share a huge desire to win, and keep improving their game. We need more guys like this! Right now, there isn’t anyone in the NBA to take the torch from Kobe. LBJ? Guy is an athlete not a ball player! If you watch tapes of Kobe or MJ, watching them play is a joy, they look great. Bron? No quality dribbling, no footwork, and so on.
    Everybody’s busy hating Kobe, but once he goes, Who’s gonna entertain us with incredible games?