LeBron James, not Anthony Davis, is named NBA Finals MVP

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Playoffs

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Both of the Lakers’ stars had a strong case but in the end, LeBron James, not Anthony Davis, is the 2020 NBA Finals MVP.

Essentially everything about the Lakers‘ victory in the 2020 NBA Finals can be traced to the individual and collaborative excellence of Anthony Davis and LeBron James. The two formed a remarkable partnership this year, quickly figuring out how to complement each other on the court and balance the responsibility for leading an NBA-title contender.

Both players had their moments in these Finals but no matter what they say in public, everyone recognizes that LeBron has been the 1A to Davis’ 1B all season long. But after Davis’ dominating Game 2 performance — 33 points and 14 rebounds on 15-of-20 from the field — the buzz began to foment about him possibly stealing NBA Finals MVP from LeBron. Davis’ defense was key in the Lakers’ Game 4 and Game 6 wins to close out the series, but it was LeBron who made the strongest argument and ultimately took the individual award.

LeBron’s offense in Games 4 and 6 won him the NBA Finals MVP

For the series, Davis averaged 25 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists, shooting 57.1 percent from the field. LeBron averaged 29.8 points, 11.9 rebounds and 8.5 assists, shooting 59.1 percent from the field. He was especially effective in the final three games of the series, totaling 88 points on just 57 shots, and 25 assists to just 11 turnovers. Any controversy here is meaningless smoke-blowing, they both could have won the award and there’s no way that either would begrudge it going to their teammate.

This is LeBron’s fourth title and he has won Finals MVP each time — in 2012 and 2013 for the Miami Heat, and in 2016 for leading the 3-1 comeback over the Golden State Warriors. There’s no reason to think the Lakers won’t be right back in the same position again next year and maybe then it will be Davis’ turn.

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