Bucks Diary

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ray Allen was the real Finals MVP

By Win Contribution numbers (what is Win Contribution?), the MVP voting should not have even been close. The landslide selection should have been Ray Allen.

Allen recorded by far the highest Win Contribution average for the NBA Finals at +1.004, which by Win Contribution standards qualifies as a magnificent Finals performance. The next closest Celtic in terms of Win Contribution was Kevin Garnett at +0.455. Paul Pierce, the actual winner of the MVP award, only recorded a Finals Win Contribution of -0.072.

By Win Contribution numbers, Allen had 4 "good games" out of the six games played in the series. And two of his games were absolutely monstrous, Game 4 and Game 6, arguably the two games that decided the World Championship.

Allen's Game 4 contribution was +2.898, a huge total, while in the clinching Game 6 Allen recorded the highest Win Contribution I have ever calculated at +3.019. Until last night, in fact, I thought it was impossible to break the +3.000 barrier, but Allen did it in the biggest game of the season.

Even if you take into account Defensive Win Contribution (meaning the negative of the Win Contribution recorded by the player's counterpart opponent), Allen still bests Pierce. Yes, Pierce did a magnificent job on Kobe Bryant, but Bryant's Win Contribution was not negative enough to make up the stagger between Pierce's and Allen's Win Contributions. Besides, no shooting guard on the Lakers roster made a positive Win Contribution, so Allen did the job on the defensive end as well.

You could try to make a "relative" Defensive Win Contribution argument. You could argue that, by holding Kobe so far under his season Win Contribution average, Paul Pierce effectively "cut off the head of the snake", if you will, and made it impossible for the Lakers to win. There's something to that, but Allen also helped on Kobe and he held Vujacic nearly -0.700 under his season Win Contribution average, so Allen still proved more valuable even under a relative evaluation.

I will have the final "Heroes and Goats" of the NBA Finals, as well as the Win Contribution totals from last night and from the entire series in my next post.


At June 18, 2008 at 1:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree, ray should have been the mvp

At June 18, 2008 at 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have voted for RA also, but his game 6 contribution is a bit overrated. Hit a lot of 3s after the result was nop longer in doubt. Suspect PP won because of his overall play during the playoffs and because he was the sentimental choice. Very glad that RA played so well after all his problems in the first 2 rounds.

At June 20, 2008 at 1:11 AM, Blogger TCW said...

Excellent point, anonymous 2. RA did have some "gravy 3s", but even discounting for that, I still think he's the most valuable.

And you're right, I knew the choice was Pierce from about Game 4on.

If you go by the entire playoffs, the choice should be KG.

Sorry it took me so long to comment.

At June 29, 2008 at 12:59 AM, Blogger PSBL said...

First time reader.

Lakers had no answer for Paul Pierce all series, he was the guy getting in the lane and creating havoc. It was just a feeling I had that they would have stuck with RayRay most of the time and would've played KG okay one-on-one but with Pierce as that dynamic destroying anyone that tried to guard him, it was all over.

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