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Best player still to be determined

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  June 15, 2010 08:28 PM

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First of all, the MVP talk is a little premature in a series that isn't over. But if the Celtics do win tonight, there is no clear-cut favorite to take home the Finals MVP trophy.

"I'm not that surprised by that," said coach Doc Rivers. "We've been a team all year. It's been different guys, and the reason we're here, I think, is because our guys accept that. I don't think they worry about who the MVP is. I don't think they care. I think they're more concerned about winning."

With averages of 19 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in the series, Paul Pierce could cement his second Finals MVP trophy with a dominant game in a Celtics win tonight. But if Pierce struggles and, say, Kevin Garnett scores 25 -- who knows.

Some have floated the notion that Kobe Bryant could win the MVP award even if the Lakers lose.

"Well, he is an MVP, so it's not a shock," said Rivers. "He's a great player, and great players play great on big stages. We're not surprised by that. We felt that he would, and we felt that we could still win games."

One player who probably won't be in MVP consideration but should be is Ray Allen. Allen hit a Finals record eight 3-pointers in Game 2, but he hasn't made one since. Instead, he's been tasked with guarding Bryant. And he's done a pretty good job of it.

"I asked him to play defense," said Rivers. "I thought it was very important for our team, and I also thought he would. I really did. When he was in Seattle he was trying to carry an entire team at that point. He had the ball in his hands entire possessions. I mean, that's exhausting. I thought he would do it because he wanted to win, and he had a group of guys that were willing to do it."

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