Last night on ABC Jeff Van Gundy proclaimed Kobe Bryant the runaway, undisputed MVP of the NBA Finals to that point. Was he right?
He was close. Bryant comes in a solid third at this point, behind only teammate Pau Gasol and Celtic point guard Rajon Rondo. Below I list the NBA Finals Marginal Win Scores and Win Contributions of the big regular season win producers for each team. Win Cotnribution indicates the player’s overall win “value”.
Interestingly, I calculated the “Team Win Scores” for both teams through Game Six… its dead ass even, 191.5 for the LA Lakers, and 190.0 for the Boston Celtics. That is how I would expect it to be. If you read my posts prior to the Finals, both teams were dead even going in. Thus a seventh game is an appropriate ending for this Finals.
The Lakers have hung close because they have been able to match the Celtics defense, something I questioned whether they would be able to do. They’ve done it. Each team has a Team Win Score per 48 of right near 31.5 (compared to the regular season NBA average of 43.9), meaning defense is driving the results.
Here are the rankings I referenced above. The first parenthetical number is the player’s Marginal Win Score per 48. The second number is the player’s Win Contribution, which is his MWS48 multiplied by his percentage of overall playing time: