For the seventh straight year, the NBA MVP won’t make the Finals, a trend that has left many basketball fans surprised and even disappointed in recent years. In fact, the last NBA MVP to win the championship was LeBron James all the way back in 2013.
This year, the MVP race is as competitive as ever, with players like Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, and Stephen Curry all vying for the coveted award. However, even if one of these players wins the MVP title, it’s unlikely that they will lead their team to the Finals.
The reasons behind this trend are complex and multifaceted, but one factor is the increasingly competitive nature of the NBA. As the league has become more balanced in recent years, with more teams fielding rosters of talented, star-level players, it’s become harder for any one individual to dominate the playoffs in the way that we’ve seen in the past.
Another reason is the sheer unpredictability of the playoffs. Unlike the regular season, where teams play a grueling 82-game schedule, the playoffs are a high-stakes, high-pressure environment where anything can happen. Injuries, luck, and even officiating calls can all tilt the scales in favor of one team or another, regardless of individual talent.
Of course, this trend is not entirely new. In the past, there have been periods where MVPs struggled to make the Finals, such as the 1980s and 1990s, when Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson dominated the award but faced stiff competition from other teams. However, the fact that this trend has persisted for as long as it has speaks to the unpredictability and competitive nature of the modern NBA.
The lack of Finals success for MVPs has also led some to question the value of the award itself. While the MVP title is undoubtedly a prestigious honor, some argue that it fails to capture the nuance and context of playoff success. After all, what good is being the best player in the league if you can’t lead your team to the championship?
Despite these concerns, however, the MVP award still holds tremendous weight and prestige in the NBA. It remains the most coveted individual honor in the league, a testament to the talent, hard work, and dedication of the players who receive it.
Ultimately, the continued absence of MVPs from the Finals is a sign of the changing face of the NBA, one where individual talent can only take a team so far. As we head into the playoffs, fans will be eagerly watching to see which star players will rise to the occasion and lead their teams to glory, regardless of whether or not they win the MVP title.