question who the best player has been over these first five games. That
point was driven home with a sledgehammer in Game 5 when Bryant scored
19 points in the third quarter only to find the Celtics' lead had
increased when he was done.
This continued a Finals in
which Bryant has had at least 20 points in every game, has had only one
game that possibly could be construed as somewhere close to ordinary
(Game 2), and has had a pair (Games 1 and 5) in which he was absolutely
For the series, Bryant is averaging 30.2
points per game; no other player is averaging more than 19. He's done it
reasonably efficiently too, with a 55.2 true shooting percentage in a
series in which the average has been 53.4. That's amazing considering
the difficulty of the attempts he's taken, especially in Game 5.
has filled the stat sheet in various and sundry other ways, too. Bryant
leads all Finals players in steals, is second in assists and has yanked
down six rebounds a game. About the only quibble one could make is that
he's been a bit turnover-prone; of course, he's playing against the
league's top turnover-forcing defense, so this shouldn't come as a huge
Can someone please explain to me "true shooting percentage?" While I respect statistical analysis (Hollinger is the general of the stat brigade), the numbers don't measure "intangibles."
I agree that the Celtics don't have a clear cut choice for MVP, but it would be a criminal act to award the MVP to Kobe. A co-MVP scenario is a better alternative.
The last Finals MVP awarded to a player on the losing team?
has won Finals MVP in a losing effort; it was Bryant's idol and mentor,
former Lakers star Jerry West. Wait, there's more. It came in the 1969
Finals … against the Celtics … against a veteran Boston team, in fact,
that had won only 48 games and was seeded just fourth in the Eastern
Conference at the start of the playoffs. L.A. ended up losing Game 7 at
home despite 42 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists from West.