Some analysts believe Steph Curry could win Finals MVP regardless of who wins the series

Curry's by far the leading scorer in the series at 34.3 per game.

Steph Curry put on a show in Game 4 at TD Garden, lifting the Warriors to victory and even the NBA Finals.

The 2022 NBA Finals is about to begin a decisive best-of-three finale, but for several analysts, one thing about the Finals has already been decided.

Warriors star point guard Steph Curry put up one of the greatest performances of his legendary career in Game 4, scoring 43 points in TD Garden to even up the series against the Celtics. Friday’s performance from Curry has multiple NBA analysts anointing him the Finals MVP, even if the Celtics take the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

With his performance in Game 4, Curry’s scoring a series-high 34.3 points per game on 50 percent shooting from the field and 49.3 percent shooting from 3-point range. Curry’s scoring average is 12 points higher than Jayson Tatum’s and Jaylen Brown’s scoring averages in the series’ (22.3 points per game), who are tied for the second best. In addition to the absurd scoring, Curry’s also averaging 6.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and two steals per game.


Curry’s stats standing so far above the rest of the competition is why The Athletic’s John Hollinger believes he should win Finals MVP regardless of who wins the Finals.

“Steph Curry should be the NBA Finals MVP win or lose,” Hollinger wrote. “He’s been that much better than everyone else. A losing player hasn’t won the award since Jerry West in 1969, but it’s hard to imagine a more clear case for breaking that half-century of tradition.”

NBA.com’s Michael C. Wright ranked Curry at the top of his latest Finals MVP Ladder, writing that Curry’s second-half performance in Game 4 could have already won him the award.

“What can we say that we haven’t already regarding Curry’s near-flawless Game 4 performance?” Wright wrote. “We saw where this was headed early when the point guard nailed an early 3 that forced a Celtics timeout. That just carried over into a 14-point third quarter, then an uber-efficient final frame as Golden State embarked on a 17-3 run over the final five minutes. You could legitimately argue that Curry has already won NBA Finals MVP just four games into this series. But of course, we’ve still got to let this play out on the court as we step back into the thick of this dogfight of an NBA Finals on Monday at Chase Center.”


Wright ranked Brown and Tatum second and third, respectively, on the ladder. Warriors guard Klay Thompson is fourth and Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins is fifth on the ladder.

CBS Sports’ Brad Botkin is also open to the possibility of Curry winning Finals MVP no matter who ends up winning the Finals. He cites some of the history Curry’s made through the first four games against the Celtics’ top defense as part of the reason why.

“With 25 made triples so far, Curry is the first player in history to make at least five 3s in four straight Finals games,” Botkin wrote. “After his 43-point masterpiece in Game 4, he’s also one of three point guards to ever put up a 40-point/10-rebound Finals line, joining Magic Johnson and [Jerry] West. 

“Considering the all-time defense he’s facing, and the lack of help he’s receiving from his own team, what Curry is doing right now is superhuman. The Celtics are a better team than the Warriors. They’re bigger, stronger, faster. They have a better defense. They have two elite scorers to Golden State’s one. None of their lineups have to compromise offense for defense, or vice versa, while Golden State, one way or another, is patching up at least one glaring hole during every second of this series.”


The betting lines on who will win Finals MVP have changed throughout the series. Entering Game 5, Curry is the odds-on favorite to win the award. DraftKings Sportsbook lists Curry’s odds to win the award at -135, giving him an implied 57.5 percent chance to win it. Tatum’s second at +170 (37 percent implied chance) and Brown is third (14.3 percent implied chance). There’s a steep drop after Brown with Marcus Smart having the fourth-best odds to win the award at +5000.

As Hollinger mentioned, there has been a player from a losing team to win the NBA Finals MVP. It’s only happened once though when Lakers legend Jerry West won it in the 1969 NBA Finals, which coincidentally also came against the Celtics.

The last time that a player from the losing team came close to winning Finals MVP was in 2015. LeBron James had series highs in points (35.8 per game), rebounds (13.3 per game), and assists (8.8 per game) in the Cavaliers’ six-game loss to the Warriors. James received four of the 11 votes for the award, which wasn’t enough to win it.

Despite winning three NBA titles and two MVPs, Curry has actually never won a Finals MVP. Kevin Durant won the honor in the Warriors’ last two Finals wins while forward Andre Iguodala controversially won the award in the aforementioned 2015 series.


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