Former Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith offered his opinion that Andre Iguodala’s performance on both sides of the ball was superior to Stephen Curry’s effort during the 2015 NBA Finals.
Smith’s response was to a social media post in which the writer made an effort to explain why Curry has only won a single Finals MVP award during the Golden State Warriors’ run of success.
Well 1! Iggy had a better finals offense and defense in the first one and KD was KD for 2 so that only leaves the one that he was warned and no disrespect to him but to me Wiggins would have won the last one. 🤷🏾♂️ but that’s just me https://t.co/kparD4BXzl
— JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) December 24, 2022
Iguodala was rewarded with the MVP award for that finals performance in 2015 after he averaged 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
In that six-game series, Curry actually had better overall statistical numbers, with Iguodala only topping his average output in the rebounding category. Curry connected on 88.5 percent of his free-throw tosses, though he also led both teams in the dubious category of turnovers with 28.
The following year, the Cavaliers engineered a stunning comeback from a 3-1 deficit to win the franchise’s first title. While Curry put up solid averages of 22.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game in that series, it’s very possible that Draymond Green’s double-double average might have won him the MVP award.
In the wake of that jarring loss, the Warriors signed free agent Kevin Durant in the summer of 2016. Durant then was a central component of leading the Warriors to consecutive NBA titles in 2017 and 2018.
During each of his first two finals with the Warriors, Durant showed that he was worthy of being selected as the MVP. In the 2017 five-game series, he averaged 35.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game, then followed that the next year with averages of 28.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 7.5 assists per contest in the Warriors’ four-game sweep.
Curry finally was rewarded for his efforts in the finals earlier this year by averaging 31.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game. That helped the Warriors win a six-game series over the Boston Celtics, with Curry’s clutch 43-point performance in Game 4 sparking a three-game winning streak to capture the title.
Having faced Curry during his years with the Cavaliers, Smith knows that Curry is a quality player. Smith’s simple point was that others managed to top Curry during a short series, which has happened countless times to other players in NBA history.