Stephen Curry’s Hall-of-Fame career is missing one award, and it isn’t the Western Conference Finals MVP he received last week. It’s a true NBA Finals MVP trophy. During Curry’s three title runs, he had to watch Andre Iguodala (2015) and Kevin Durant (2017-18) receive the Finals MVP honor. Curry may have had a great career, but he has never been the best player on the court in the finals.
Golden State signed Steve Kerr as a first-year coach for the 2014-15 season after replacing Mark Jackson. Kerr re-energized the Warriors’ offence by re-shaping it around Curry and Klay Thompson, and the team went on a historic run.
After the Warriors won 67 games and Kerr became the most wining first-year coach in NBA history, Curry was chosen league MVP ahead of Rockets star James Harden. Curry set a new NBA record for 3-pointers made in a season with 23.8 points and 7.7 assists per game (286).
The Warriors played the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals for the first of four meetings between the two teams. The Warriors beat the Cavs 4-2 to earn their first title in 40 years, but it was Iguodala who took home the Bill Russell trophy, mostly for his outstanding defense of Cavs forward LeBron James, which is astounding considering James’ statistics.
Throughout the series, James led both teams in points, assists, and rebounds for the first time in NBA Finals history. He averaged 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 8.8 assists in the series while shooting 39.8% from the field. Curry averaged 26.0 points a game in that series, shooting 44.3 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from long range.
After the Warriors went behind 2-1 in Game 3, Iguodala’s return to the starting lineup changed the trajectory of the series. Iguodala remarked on JJ Redick’s podcast last year that he thought Curry deserved the MVP award that year.
The Warriors brought in more fire power that summer, bringing in Kevin Durant, following a painful loss to the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals after leading 3-1.
The Warriors won the regular season with a 67-15 record and advanced to their third consecutive NBA Finals appearance by winning their first 12 playoff games – their third consecutive home sweep.
Even better, the Warriors won the first three games of the Finals against a Cleveland squad that lacked the firepower to match them. Kevin Durant won the Finals MVP title by a landslide, getting all 11 votes.
For the fourth year in a row, the Warriors and Cavaliers faced one another in the NBA Finals, in what would become the most lopsided series in history.
After defeating the Spurs and Pelicans in the first two rounds, the Warriors needed seven games to beat the Rockets in the Finals. They then took care of LeBron James and the Cavaliers in four games, clean sweeping them.
Durant was dominant throughout the series and was named Finals MVP for the second consecutive year. He was the Cavs’ defensive focal point every night, shooting 50-40-90 on field goals, 3-pointers, and free throws.