Regardless of whether the Cleveland Cavaliers win or lose the NBA Finals – and right now, it’s looking like they’ll lose – many people believe that LeBron James should be series MVP. It’s hard to argue with that. In fact, it’s probably more difficult to argue that James shouldn’t be MVP.
He’s been a one-man show.
“I’m really impressed (by his play), but at the same time, it really doesn’t surprise me,” Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “Just me guarding him last series, physically we all know he’s very, very gifted. But mentally, I think he’s picked up on a whole new level the game, and I think a lot of people underestimate his mental aspect of the game. He knows when to post a guy up, knows when to drive a guy, knows where guys are going to be. I think he’s really winning mentally more than he is physically. He’s getting the other people involved. He’s playing every position all at once. It really don’t surprise me, man. He’s the best player in the world. And with him on the court, the Cavs still got a chance.”
James is averaging 36.6 points, 12.4 rebounds, 8.8 assists and 1.2 steals in the Finals. Stephen Curry, by comparison, is averaging “just” 26.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.6 steals. He is also averaging 5.0 turnovers – two more than James’ 3.0.
Curry, however, erupted for 37 points in Game 5 helped the Warriors take a 3-2 series lead, this after shooting just 41.3 percent from the floor through the first four games.
“You can only keep an elite player like that down so long,” Carroll said. “He got coaches and players who give him the confidence to go out there and step up and be the leader. When you got guys still giving you confidence when you have a bad game, it makes you gain a little more confidence. I think that’s what Steph Curry did. He turned it up a notch and I think he’s back to being Steph Curry.”
Let’s hope for Cavs fans’ sake that Timofey Mozgov can get back to being Timofey Mozgov. The 28-year-old Russian had 28 points and 10 rebounds in Game 4 before David Blatt limited him to just nine minutes in Game 5, hoping in vain to beat the Warriors at their own small-ball game. Mozgov finished with zero points, zero rebounds, zero assists and two turnovers.
Carroll expects to see more of Mozgov in Game 6.
“I thought he had a great game (in Game 4),” Carroll said. “You got to find some way to get him on the court. You got to get him on the court. He really protects the rim for you, and he made it really hard for Draymond the first three games. You got to find a way to get him on the court. I don’t know how you do it, but you got to find a way to get him on the court.”