The Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets are tied at one game apiece in the NBA Finals, which has really left the NBA Finals MVP market in a bit of a standstill.
While Nikola Jokic is still a heavy favorite, it’s far from a guarantee that the Nuggets win the NBA Finals. In fact, with the series shifting back to Miami in Game 3, the Heat could have a chance to take the lead before the series goes back to Denver for Game 5.
If that is the case, now’s the time to wager on Heat big man Bam Adebayo to win the Finals MVP award.
The two-time All-Star has been great in this series, scoring 21 and 26 points in the first two games while grabbing 22 rebounds and dishing out nine assists. Not only that, but Adebayo has done this despite being tasked with handling the two-time MVP in Jokic on the defensive end.
With Jimmy Butler struggling from the field (13-for-33), should Heat fans and bettors look to Bam to take home the award for the best player in the NBA Finals?
First, let’s examine the latest odds in the futures market:
NBA Finals MVP odds
Can Bam Adebayo win NBA Finals MVP?
While Butler is the favorite from Miami’s side to win Finals MVP, there is a real path for Adebayo to win the award.
First off, it starts with the defensive aspect of his game, as he’s not only the team’s leading rebounder so far in the series, but Bam also picked up a pair of blocks in Game 2. He’s the anchor for the team on that end of the floor.
To look at Bam’s value, you just have to look at Jokic’s numbers when Bam is on and off the floor:
Nikola Jokic stats in 2023 NBA Finals
- When guarded by Bam Adebayo: 12-for-23 FG, 37 points, 10 assists, two turnovers
- When guarded by Cody Zeller: 6-for-7 FG, 14 points, three assists, 0 turnovers
Essentially, the Heat can’t guard Jokic when Bam is on the bench, which is one reason why he’s so valuable to the team.
If the big man keeps up this scoring prowess (23.5 points per game), it’s going to be hard to give the award to Butler unless he starts scoring the ball at the rate that he did against the Milwaukee Bucks.
In 14 games since that series, Butler is averaging 23.6 points per game while shooting just 42.0 percent from the field and 30.8 percent from 3-point range.
At his current odds, Bam is worth a shot to win the Finals MVP award, especially if you believe in Miami to take at least one of these games at home.
Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.