No MVP In The NBA Finals For The First Time Since 1990, Second Time Ever

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rsz usatsi 19742737 168401936 lowres scaled 1

Some thought the NBA and its viewership might have some trouble during the 2024 postseason. Mainstays and playoff regulars like LeBron James and Stephen Curry were eliminated early in this year’s process, and the lack of star power was thought to have an effect on the interest surrounding this particular iteration.

No MVPs In NBA Finals For First Time Since 1990

And while it can be argued that some of the series that were played were lackluster at best, we have had some wildly entertaining matchups over the past two months. It will all be capped off by the Dallas Mavericks meeting the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals, the latter of which will be the home team and overall favorite.

The matchup between the two sides should be a good one, with plenty of story lines and star power to boot, but perhaps a bit less star power than we are generally used to.

While he has been a perennial regular season MVP candidate, the award has never been handed down to Mavericks’ star Luka Dončić. Celtics wing Jayson Tatum regularly receives votes for most valuable, but has only ever finished as high as 4th place in the voting.

First Since 1990…Second Time Ever

In what is perhaps a surprising fact, this will be the first time since 1990 that the NBA Finals will feature teams that have no regular season MVPs on their roster, and just the second time ever. Most recently, it has been the aforementioned Curry and James who have given an MVP presence in the Finals, with Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and Tim Duncan being the regulars that qualified in the early 2000s.

1990 marked the final year before Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls asserted their dominance over the league. It was the Detroit Pistons who took on the Portland Trail Blazers that season, with neither roster featuring an MVP winner. The respective stars for each team were Isiah Thomas and Clyde Drexler.

Drexler nearly won the MVP award two years after the 1989-1990 campaign, but was edged out by Jordan as he was in that season’s Finals as well.

Game 1 of the 2024 NBA Finals will be played in Boston on Thursday night. The Celtics are listed as 6.5-point favorites.

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