Jayson Tatum, courtesy of Facebook

The NBA Finals are underway, and the Boston Celtics are in control. They have a commanding 3-0 lead over the Dallas Mavericks, but Dallas wants to keep their season alive.

When a champion is declared, one player will receive the Finals MVP. This award is given to the player that had an exceptional series, and was the key to their team’s success. There have been

1.) Jaylen Brown

Jaylen Brown is on a mission. Brown has been effective on both ends of the floor this series, as he averages 24.3 points, six rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.3 blocks. His best game of this series was in Game 3, when he finished the game with 30 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

Brown continues to shine. He had a strong series against the Indiana Pacers in the previous round, where he had a 40-point game in Game 2. Brown was named the Larry Bird Eastern Conference Finals MVP at the end of that series. And now, Brown can add another trophy to his collection, along with a (potential) championship.

2.) Jayson Tatum

Brown is playing great in this series, and while Jayson Tatum has taken a backseat in this series, with Game 3 being an exception, he is still playing well. Tatum finished Game 3 with 31 points, which was his best performance of the series so far. Prior to that, Tatum had 16 points in Game 1 and 18 points in Game 2. Tatum shot 37.5 percent in the first game and 27.3 percent in the second. The series is still young, and if the Mavericks extend the series, there will be more chances for Tatum to have performances like Game 3.

3.) Jrue Holiday

The Boston Celtics have played well as a team, and with their 3-0 lead over Dallas, their players are the frontrunners for Finals MVP. Brown has the best odds, and Tatum may not be far behind, but another Celtic to keep an eye on is Jrue Holiday.

Holiday has played well in this series, as he averages 15.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists. His best game in this series was a 26-point game in Game 2. Holiday is doing what was expected, as he is doing a bit of everything. He is making an impact on offense as well as defense. Holiday has been a big factor in Boston’s success, and with the Celtics being one win away from his second championship, he deserves recognition for his play.

4.) Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic fouled out in Game 3, and with the Mavericks on the verge of elimination, it is important that Doncic is not only in the game, but has a huge performance. Doncic averages 29.7 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Doncic had a double-double in Game 1 as he finished with 30 points and 10 rebounds. He had a triple-double in Game 2 with 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. Doncic can have big games, and his performance in Game 4 will have an impact on Dallas’s fate. If he plays well, and the Mavericks extend the series, he has to be in the conversation for Finals MVP. However, if the Celtics win it all, players like Brown, Tatum and Holiday are ahead of him.

5.) Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving is one of the league’s top players. He is playing for his second championship, but the Mavericks are in a tough position. As mentioned, they are fighting to stay alive. If they want to keep the series going, they will not only need Doncic but they will also need Irving.

Irving averages 21.0 points this series, but it has not been easy. He had 12 points in Game 1 and 16 in Game 2. These are quiet games for Irving, but in Game 3, he looked more like himself. Irving finished with 35 points and shot well from the field. He shot 46.4 percent from the field and was 4-of-6 from 3-point range. Before that, Irving was 0-of-8 from deep in this series. Irving could have another big game (like Game 3) and if he does, he will remain in the Finals MVP race. 

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