As we said before the start of the 2022 NBA Finals, the series opposing Golden State to Boston could represent an additional springboard for the legacy of Stephen Curry if he wins a fourth ring with the bonus of the title of MVP of the series. The latter is the only trophy missing from Steph’s prize list, even if some believe that he would have deserved the MVP of the 2015 Finals in place of Andre Iguodala. But in fact, what does Iggy think of it?
Seven years later, it’s still a heated discussion in the NBA world: rather Stephen Curry or Andre Iguodala MVP of the 2015 Finals? Knowing that some of Curry’s detractors like to point out the fact that the greatest all-time shooter has yet to earn the honorary Most Valuable Player in a Finals award, there are also plenty of Steph and Hexperts fans who believe in return that the Splash Brother should have been rewarded upon its first appearance on the big stage. And the arguments are here: 26 points average, 5.2 rebounds, 6 assists, almost 2 steals, all at 44% shooting including 38% from the parking lot and 88% from the free throw line, including a 37-pawn explosion in a crucial Game 5 at Oracle Arena. However, it was therefore Iggy who took the lead despite much less impressive figures over the whole series (16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4 assists, 1.3 interceptions, 52% shooting including 40 % to 3-point). In a few decades, the youngest will no doubt wonder why the player who revolutionized the NBA in the 2010s was relegated to the background behind a guy who did not even start games in the first half of the 2015 Finals. Except that sometimes numbers and standing aren’t everything. That year, the NBA preferred to reward the player who represented – in the eyes of specialists – the biggest difference-maker in the series. Because the difference, clearly Andre made it from Game 4, when he was started by Steve Kerr in place of Andre Bogut to not only bring more space and rhythm to the Warriors attack, but also to defend directly on the monster LeBron James. And that shouldn’t be forgotten, right Iggy?
“I think it was well deserved,” he said via The Athletic. “I just maximized the opportunity I was given. […] I responded at the right time. When I had to shoot, I shot. When it was necessary to pass, I made the pass. And then I had to defend the other guy [LeBron, ndlr.] I didn’t stop him but I tried to make his life difficult to force him to adapt. He had to think twice about his decisions. It was like a great game of chess with him. […]
I think I deserve the title but people don’t understand the human factor, the changes that were made, the sacrifices that were made that year. I went from a bench player to a starter in Game 4 of the Finals, and people may think you can’t react well to that, but it just happened. »
From 2-1 for the Cavaliers with Game 4 to play in Cleveland, the series went to 4-2 for Golden State with a final win in King’s Kingdom. Without a doubt, the integration of Andre Iguodala into the major five has changed the whole dynamic of the series. Certainly LeBron continued to panic the stats during the last three games (36 points, 13 rebounds, 9 assists average over the series) but Iggy had the merit of making it a little more difficult for him while making a big offensive contribution. As he recalls, Andre started on the bench for the entire season that year, accepting his role as the sixth man like a pro to help the Warriors find the best balance possible. No tenure in 77 regular games, none in the Playoffs before this famous Game 4 in Cleveland, as much to say that it was a big change for Iguodala. It was then that his experience, as well as his versatility and ability to adapt, made the difference in favor of the Dubs.
“I had been in the Playoffs before, I won a gold medal — two even, with the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 Olympics. I played a major role in those two teams, more than what people think. Just because you’re not the star doesn’t mean you don’t have a big impact. You have to be ready for anything. »
Andre Iguodala says it, Stephen Curry deserves at least one Finals MVP in his career. But that does not mean that he believes he stole the 2015 against Cleveland. Quite the contrary. So no matter what people think, his name will forever be on the Finals MVP list.
Source texte : The Athletic