San Antonio's Tony Parker, left, and Miami's LeBron James are… (Brendan Smialowski / AFP…)
Writers from around the Tribune Co. pick who they think will be the MVP of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs. Feel free to leave your pick in the comments section.
Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times
The Spurs will go as far as Tony Parker takes them, which should be a title and accompanying MVP award for the veteran point guard. He didn't have a good Game 2, committing five turnovers, but Parker rarely has bad back-to-back games and will soon be back doing the kinds of things he did in the series opener, spinning for layups and banking in clutch jumpers while running the pick and roll to perfection.
Parker is the player who makes San Antonio's Big Three such a super-sized entity, setting up Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili with his perfectly placed passes. It's why the Spurs will edge the Heat and Parker will walk off the floor the series' best player.
K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune
The NBA Finals most valuable player will be LeBron James. And it will happen again, so people better get used to the idea. James is that rare superstar who makes everybody around him better. He also is all about winning. His triple double in Game 1 wasn't enough, so all he did was take over Game 2 at both ends, blocking a Tim Duncan shot as one of his three blocks and flirting with another triple double. He also is getting his teammates involved with pinpoint passing and true leadership.
James is the game's best talent by far and his taste of a title last season left him wanting for more, which is how the great ones operate. James actually has a chance to be named Finals MVP even if the Heat lose the series, such will be his role and his dominance throughout. However, here's also saying he will lead the Heat to victory -- and add some more hardware to his rapidly growing collection along the way.
Harvey Fialkov, South Florida Sun Sentinel
Based on the first two games of the NBA Finals, the obvious suspects remain superstars Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and LeBron James, who own three, one and one Finals MVPs already.
Manu Ginobili and Dwyane Wade (2006 winner) have aged before our eyes as their daring drives to the rack have taken a toll on their bodies and athleticism. They’re now complementary pieces. Ditto for Duncan, who at 37, can’t carry the Spurs long enough to stand alone in second place behind MJ’s six Finals MVPs. The only Finals MVP chosen from the losers was Jerry West in 1969, the inaugural year of the award.
It’ll come down to James or Parker, who was smothered in Game 2. I’ll go with the Heat and King James, who despite averaging only 17.5 points, 13 boards and 8.5 assists, or 10 points below his career playoff scoring average, is at the height of his powers and will not be denied.
Brian Schmitz, Orlando Sentinel
It's the (belated) Tony award.
Tony Parker will be the Finals MVP, which means I'm sticking with the Spurs to beat LeBron James and the Heat.
Parker was brilliant in the opener to give the Spurs home-court advantage and inside track on MVP. His legendary bank-shot against James secured the win. LeBron had a triple-double (18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists).
But both Parker (13 points) and James (17 points) were pedestrian in the Heat's Game 2 blow-out victory.