We enter Year II of the King on our second NBA Tuesday miniseries, and this was a shortened regular season (66 games) due to labor strife between players and owners. So, our threshold for the DPOY analysis drops from 5 DWS to 4 DWS, which is easy to remember. On the larger front, LeBron James won his first NBA championship at age 27, while making his third Finals appearance (2007, 2011). Remember, James ended up in the Finals for eight straight seasons from to 2011 to 2018. Incredible!
2012 NBA FINALS MVP: LeBron James, SF, Miami (original, confirmed)
The Miami Heat dropped the Oklahoma Thunder in five games to win the franchise’s second NBA championship (2006). James was named the MVP, as he led his team in scoring (28.6 ppg), rebounding (10.2 rpg), assists (7.4 apg), and minutes played (44.0 mpg). All five Miami starters averaged at least 36.6 mpg, too, so this was a star-studded lineup for the Heat, as all five guys scored in double digits for the series. But it’s easy to confirm James’ vote win here, based on the above data. No discussion needed.
2012 NBA DPOY: Tyson Chandler, C, New York (original); Andre Iguodala, SF, Philadelphia (revised)
New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler won the DPOY vote, although we did give him our nod many years ago (2005). Yet he’s not going to win this award from us now at age 29, because his 3.6 DWS doesn’t meet our aforementioned threshold. Instead, we see eight other players that did finish with more than 4.0 DWS. After sifting through for teammates and playoff qualifiers, our short list is now reduced to just six players.
The sextet is as follows: Atlanta power forward Josh Smith (4.90 DWS), James (4.48), Orlando Magic C Dwight Howard (4.44), Boston Celtics C Kevin Garnett (4.31), Philadelphia 76ers small forward Andre Iguodala (4.16), and Memphis Grizzlies C Marc Gasol (4.03). The playoff margins for error are next: Miami (15), Atlanta (9), Boston (8), Memohis (7), Orlando (6), and Philly (4). So this award goes to Iguodala, the smallest player on this list at just 6-foot-6.
Iggy was seventh in the vote at the time for the following numbers: 5.2 defensive rebounds per game with 1.7 spg and 0.5 bpg. That effort turned into 5.5 apg and only 1.5 fpg, meaning he was on guys like a glove and stimulating scoring off his defensive efforts, too. Philly gave up just 89.4 ppg, the third-best effort in the Eastern Conference. The bottom line is that the 76ers were the No. 8 seed in the playoffs, and they would not have been there without Iguodala’s defense.