As the NBA announced earlier during the playoffs, for the first time this year, additional materials will be given out at the end of each Conference Finals series.
In addition to the new Bob Cousy Eastern Conference Finals Championship Trophy and the Oscar Robertson Western Conference Finals Championship Trophy, the NBA will also award a Conference Finals MVP in each conference for the first time in league history.
The Western Conference Finals MVP trophy is named after Lakers legend Magic Johnson, while the Eastern Conference Finals MVP trophy is named after Celtics legend Larry Bird.
MORE: New NBA Conference Finals Trophies, Explained
In the same way that MLB awards ALCS and NLCS MVPs each year, the NBA will award the best player in each Conference Finals series with an MVP trophy.
With the Warriors putting the Mavericks on the brink of elimination, leading 3-0 heading into Game 4, our staff have made their pick for the first-ever Magic Johnson Conference Finals MVP award.
You can also find the current betting odds for the Magic Johnson Conference Finals MVP award, Courtesy of Fan Duel Sportsbook.
Who should win Magic Johnson’s Western Conference Finals MVP?
Kyle Irving(@KyleIrv_): I know there’s a buzz around Andrew Wiggins or Kevon Looney as the Western Conference Finals MVP so far, but let’s not think too much about it. It’s Stephen Curry.
Over the first three games, Curry is averaging 28.0 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.7 assists. He’s shooting 48.3% from 3 and has 30+ straight games. He was the best player in the series not named Luka Doncic and he deserves to be rewarded for leading his team to the NBA Finals.
While Wiggins and Looney both starred in their respective roles, Curry was the guys for the Warriors. Let’s not turn this into another running joke like what became Curry’s Finals MVP-less trophy case.
Carl Gay (@TheCarlanGay): I hope you are joking!? The answer is Andrew Christian Wiggins. Going into the series, everyone said the key would be how the Warriors defend Luka Doncic. And no one has protected Luka Magic better than Wiggins in the Conference Finals.
In three games, Wiggins kept Luka for 134.4 partial possession according to NBA stats. Only Mikal Bridges who played Doncic in a series that lasted seven has spent more time on the Mavs maestro in these playoffs. And while Luka still flaunted his usual numbers, Wiggins made him work harder than anyone.
And while Wiggins received the defensive effort to put the Warriors in position to sweep the Mavs, his offense didn’t take over the backseat.
Steph has been Steph without a doubt, the numbers speak for themselves, but consider this: Wiggins is averaging 20.7 points in the series – good for second-best on the team – 7.0 rebounds and 3 .7 assists.
He was also effective shooting 47.1% from the field and 38.9% from three. His offense has been as valuable to the Warriors as anyone else in this series, especially because he forces Luka to keep and expend energy defensively.
One more thing to put Wiggins on top, the Warriors outrun the Mavs at 28.9 points per 100 possessions in the series when he’s on the floor. When Wiggins sits, the Warriors are outscored by a 38.7 per 100 rate according to NBA stats.
Let’s face it, a lot of people in the media (including some of those same staff) owe Wiggins an apology. They can start by giving him the WCF MVP.
Benyam Kidane (@BenyamKidane) Carlan almost convinced me in Wiggins’ case for the award, but I’m going to agree with Kyle. Steph Curry is the answer.
The Mavericks entered the Conference Finals on the back of their stellar defense and Curry did nothing less than run them through the first three games of the series, with his nonstop movement and dribbling penetration.
Besides taking and doing a lot of hits, Curry wasn’t shy about getting in on the dirty work. The battle of the boards told the story of the series, with Golden State outscoring the Mavs 141-98 and despite being a 6-foot-3 guard, Curry (8.3 rebounds per game) only trails center starting Kevon Looney (9.7) on the boards.
That extra effort, combined with his elite offensive game, is enough to convince me that he has been the best player on the court this series.
Ananth Pandian So go. There’s no need to think too much because it’s an easy answer. As my guys Benyam and Kyle have already said, the inaugural prize should go to Baby-Faced Assassin aka Chef Curry aka Stephen Curry.
Don’t be convinced by Carlan’s use of Wiggins’ full name. Carlan is plagued by today’s disease, still living in the moment of Wiggins’ sensational dunk on Luka Doncic. Meanwhile, Curry put the Mavericks to sleep in the first three games of the series with his stellar shooting and improved effort and toughness on the defensive end.
Even Magic Johnson, who is named after this award, marveled at Curry’s play in the Western Conference Finals.
Here’s Johnson after Game 1:
Seven guys finished the game in double figures. Wiggins, Thompson, Green, Looney & Porter Jr. were led by Steph Curry with 21 points and 12 rebounds.
—Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 19, 2022
And after game 2:
Steph Curry resumed play in the fourth quarter, finishing with 32 points and 8 rebounds! He had plenty of help from Looney scoring 21 points and 12 rebounds, Poole with 23 points, Wiggins 16, Thompson 15 and Porter Jr. with 11 points.
—Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 21, 2022
And more recently, after game 3:
Steph Curry continues his phenomenal game with 41 points and 11 assists in tonight’s game.
—Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 23, 2022
Johnson is still in love with a plethora of players. But his praise of Curry is spot on and succinctly describes why the Warriors superstar should win the Western Conference Finals MVP award.
Western Conference Finals MVP Betting Odds
Curry is the betting favorite – from afar — to earn Magic Johnson’s first-ever Western Conference Finals MVP.
Luka Doncic and Andrew Wiggins are tied for second-best odds as Doncic is averaging 34.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists in the series, while Wiggins is doing a great job of making life challenging to prolific offensive threat.