With the Warriors being one win away from their third championship in four years, it's time to turn our attention to Finals MVP.
Someone different has stolen the show in each game of the 2018 NBA Finals. Whereas LeBron James had a historic showing in Game 1, Stephen Curry worked his way into the record books in Game 2. Kevin Durant then dominated Game 3 in Cleveland with a clutch performance to put the Warriors up 3-0 in the series.
Who has the best case to be named Finals MVP heading into Game 4? Let's take a look at each of their cases in detail.
Kevin Durant got off to a slow start in the 2018 NBA Finals, but he's bounced back in a big way. After scoring 26 points on 22 shot attempts in Game 1, the reigning Finals MVP finished Game 2 with 26 points on an efficient 14 shot attempts and carried the Warriors with 43 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists on 15-for-23 shooting in Game 3.
Durant's last bucket of Game 3 came with less than a minute remaining in regulation, when he secured the win for Golden State with a deep 3-pointer that extended their lead to six points. The Warriors wouldn't have been in that position without him - he scored or assisted on 28 of their 52 first half points - and he hit the biggest shot of the series for the second year in a row.
Durant is now averaging 31.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, 6.7 assists, 1.7 blocks and 0.7 steals per game on 55.9 percent shooting from the field, 47.4 percent from the 3-point line and 95.2 percent from the free throw line through three games of the 2018 NBA Finals. He's leading the Warriors in three of those categories, all while serving as the primary defender on LeBron James on the other end of the floor.
As impressive as LeBron has been, Durant helped the Warriors contain the Cavaliers superstar in Games 2 and 3.
There's a case to be made for LeBron James based on his Game 1 performance alone, when he scored 51 points on 19-for-32 shooting from the field, pulled down eight rebounds and dished out eight assists. While it wasn't enough for the Cavaliers to steal a game in Oakland - LeBron became the first player in NBA history to score 50-plus points in a Finals game and lose - there's something to be said for the four-time MVP having one of the greatest individual performances we've ever seen and pushing a loaded Warriors team to its limit on basketball's biggest stage.
It's not as though LeBron has fallen off since then, either. He fell a rebound shy of posting back-to-back triple-doubles in Games 2 and 3, bumping his numbers for the series to 37.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, 9.0 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.0 blocks per contest. With a 30 point triple-double in Game 3, LeBron now has more 30 point games (110) and triple-doubles (10) than anyone else in NBA Finals history.
It might not be enough for him to become only the second player ever to be named Finals MVP on a losing team if the Warriors win, but LeBron has done everything in his power to make it a competitive series.
Stephen Curry led the charge for the Warriors in Games 1 and 2 with 31.0 points, 8.5 assists and 6.5 rebounds per contest. He was at his best in Game 2, when he scored 33 points on 9-for-17 shooting from 3-point range, giving him the NBA Finals record for 3-pointers made in a single game. Five of those 3-pointers came in the fourth quarter without a miss, and Curry's 16 points in the final frame helped the Warriors distance themselves from the Cavaliers to take a commanding 2-0 series lead.
Hurting Curry's case is he struggled more in Game 3 (11 points on 3-for-16 shooting and 1-for-10 from 3-point range) than Kevin Durant did in Game 1, though he still managed to make an impact. The Cavaliers were more aggressive with their traps in Game 3 to prevent Curry from getting the same looks he torched them with in Game 2, setting up chain reactions that often ended with one of JaVale McGee, Jordan Bell and Draymond Green getting a layup or dunk.
Curry's only 3-pointer of the night also happened to be a back-breaker, with it coming following a Kevin Love turnover in the closing minutes of a one point game.
If Curry has a strong showing in Game 4 and the Warriors complete the sweep, there is still a chance he could be named Finals MVP for the first time in his career.
Draymond Green for his all-around play. The Warriors forward is averaging 9.3 points, 8.3 assists, 7.0 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 1.0 blocks per game in the 2018 NBA Finals. He's been his usual self on defense, too, leading the series in deflections, contested 2-point shots and contested 3-point shots.
Klay Thompson for his 3-point shooting. Similar to Stephen Curry, Thompson makes an impact even when he isn't scoring because of his gravity. He's made the second-most 3-pointers in the series at a 43.5 percent clip.
Kevin Love for his production on offense. LeBron James continues to get all of the attention on the Cavaliers side, but Love is having his most consistent series of the 2018 NBA Playoffs with 21.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.