NBA Odds: Betting on the NBA Finals MVP
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager - 5/30/2011
There’s no question that LeBron James has all the talent in the world as a basketball player, but there’s always been the question of his mental toughness. Could King James perform in the clutch? Could he be trusted to show up in big games?
James hasn’t won anything yet, but he sure has some momentum as the 2011 NBA Finals between his Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks prepares to tip off Tuesday in Florida.
The 26-year-old that caused such a stir over the summer when he announced his “decision” to move from Cleveland to Miami was brilliant in the Eastern Conference finals versus the Bulls. Not only did James fill the stats sheet on the offensive side of the floor, he was relentless on defense, particularly against league MVP Derrick Rose.
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But how will James do in the Finals when the spotlight is turned up even brighter?
Pretty well, according to Bodog’s odds makers. We’re giving James even odds of winning the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award.
After James, it’s Dirk Nowitzki at 2/1 and Dwyane Wade at 7/2.
So far most of the action has come in on the favorite, although we’ve seen good support for Nowitzki, who’s been dominant for the Mavs this postseason, and Wade, who offers a pretty tempting payout for a guy that was named Finals MVP in 2006.
Of course, the Finals MVP award is most often associated with Michael Jordan, who won it a record six times over his career with the Bulls.
Jordan’s name has been in the news a lot lately after his former teammate Scottie Pippen told ESPN Radio that while Jordan “is probably the greatest scorer to ever play in the game,” James “is probably the greatest player to ever play the game.”
Pippen’s remarks drew scoffs from many basketball fans and downright vitriol from others, most of them Bulls fans who equated the comments with treason.
“I’ve never seen a player that can dominate a game the way LeBron James can. He doesn’t always have to score. He makes plays for other guys,” Pippen added.
“But when the game is on the line and you need a shot to be made, he’s going to make that play. He’s shown that throughout this series that he can make big shots.”
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if James can clutch up on the NBA’s biggest stage. Jordan has six rings; “the greatest player to ever play the game” has none.
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