With the 2021 NBA Finals underway, every player that has made it this far will be watched closely to ascertain who will be crowned the 2021 NBA Finals MVP. While every player in the Finals is eligible for consideration, a select few are more likely to win the award.
The Phoenix Suns, who emerged victorious in the West, have already gone 1-0 up against the Eastern Conference champions Milwaukee Bucks in the 2021 NBA Finals. The Suns set the right tone for the rest of the seven-game series with a convincing 118-105 victory at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Whoever wins the NBA Finals MVP award will be the 32nd player to do so in NBA history as none of the players on either team have ever won the award previously. Michael Jordan holds the record for most NBA Finals MVP award wins with six, while LeBron James is the most recent recipient.
Jerry West won the inaugural NBA Finals MVP award in 1969 despite being on the losing team. However, subsequent awards have been strictly given to players who led their teams to victory.
On that note, let’s look at the top five players that are the favorites to win the 2021 NBA Finals MVP award.
#5 Jrue Holiday
Although it will require Jrue Holiday to completely take over the series and win it for the Milwaukee Bucks, the veteran guard surely has the superstar qualities to win the 2021 NBA Finals MVP award.
Bucks are going to need more from Jrue Holiday.— Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) July 7, 2021
Middleton looked off the defender to get Holiday an open 3, he passed it up and then committed a turnover that went for two in the other direction.
Holiday stunned the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals, especially in Games 5 & 6, where Giannis Antetokounmpo was unavailable for selection through injury. But his performance in Game 1 was subpar. Although he is often lauded for his defensive acumen, he failed to shut down Chris Paul and the Suns.
There are still enough games in this series to redeem himself and Holiday will hope to get back into contention for the 2021 NBA Finals MVP award. However, recording numbers similar to the ten points he registered in Game 1 will simply not be enough.
#4 Khris Middleton
Khris Middleton has been sensational for the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2021 NBA playoffs. However, it is a shame that those performances will not be considered to decide the 2021 NBA Finals MVP.
Middleton is responsible for keeping the Bucks’ fire burning in this series, and he did so in the absence of Giannis. He tried to use his 29 points to spur his team to a victory but failed to pull off the comeback in Game 1.
The Khris Middleton finals MVP thing kinda started as a bit, but now with Giannis likely missing some time, if Khris plays to the level he has in closeout games for the whole series, and wins 1 or 2 without GA, GA would have to come back and put up 50/game to take it back— Khris Middleton is Good (@alexengel12) July 6, 2021
While his NBA Finals MVP candidacy is not solid, he has a decent chance to turn the hearts of many. But first things first, Middleton needs to find a way to orchestrate a comeback in Game 2, with or without Giannis.