NBA Finals Top Five: Most Surprising Finals MVPs
Thursday, June 7th, 2007
Chauncey Billups dominated the Lakers in the 2004 Finals to become an unlikely Finals MVP. (AI Wire Photo)
They say the NBA Finals is usually where superstars reign, but there are some players in NBA Finals history that seemed to come out of nowhere to take the Finals MVP crown:
5. Chauncey Billups - an unlikely MVP for unlikely NBA Champions - 2004 NBA Finals: Los Angeles vs. Detroit
With Shaquille Oâ€™Neal, Kobe Bryant, Gary Payton, and Karl Malone, the L.A. Lakers were a mountain of talent, but the Pistons were the better team. The Pistons became unlikely champions in five games, and it was Chauncey Billupsâ€™ who led the team averaging 21 points and 5.2 assists, garnering him MVP honors.
4. Joe Dumars - the silent assassin kills Showtime - 1989 NBA Finals: Los Angeles vs. Detroit
Dumars was quiet compared to the other Detroit Bad Boys but in the â€˜89 Finals his game was nothing but noise. Dumars blew up the Finals and the Lakers by averaging 27.3 points, ending the Lakerâ€™s 80â€™s dynasty in four games.
3. James Worthy becomes "Big Game James" - 1988 NBA Finals: Los Angeles vs. Detroit
In Lakerland everyone looked to Magic Johnson for their daily triple-double fix, but in Game 7 of the â€˜88 Finals Worthy decided to take over. Worthy dropped an amazing 36 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists to help the Lakers win 108-105 and win the Finals MVP.
2. Cedric Maxwell, the unlikely Celtic hero - 1981 NBA Finals: Boston vs. Houston
Despite being overshadowed by stars like Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish, Cedric Maxwell was named MVP of the 1981 NBA Finals. Maxwell averaged 17.7 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists to lead the Celtics to an NBA Championship over the Rockets.
1. Dennis Johnson leads the Sonics to a Championship - 1979 NBA Finals: Seattle vs. Washington
Dennis Johnson was a Sonic? Before he was rolling with the green Johnson was money for Seattle in the 1979 Finals. Johnson won a title with the Super Sonics by beating the Washington Bullets and was named MVP of the Finals by averaging 22.6 points, 6 rebounds and assists while adding 1.8 steals and 2.2 blocks.