Do NBA playoff games count for the MVP race?
As some stunning performances continue to make headlines in the postseason, some people are asking whether they matter to the player award.
With the 2022/23 National Basketball Association playoffs in motion, we are being delivered impressive performances from the best basketball has to offer night after night. Whether it’s LeBron James dominating the paint when it matters or Steph Curry hitting his array of threes, stand out showings are getting fans onto their feet. But do these postseason games count towards the season’s Most Valuable Player award?
Regular season defines NBA MVP
The answer is simple. No! The NBA MVP award is a highly respected individual honour and is presented annually to the player believed to have made the biggest impact on his team’s success throughout the regular season. That’s right, just the regular season.
There is however another MVP award in the postseason. The Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Award gets handed over to the most voted for player in the final series of the championship.
How is the NBA MVP award decided?
The MVP award is decided by a panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the NBA in the US and Canada. These experts are asked to select their top five candidates for the award, with the first-place vote receiving 10 points, second place receiving seven points, third place receiving five points, fourth place receiving three points, and fifth place receiving one point. And since 2010, one ballot was also cast by fans via an online voting system.
Once all of the votes are tallied, the player with the highest point total is awarded the MVP. The announcement is typically made at some point during the playoffs, and the winner is presented with the Maurice Podoloff Trophy -- a nod to the first commissioner -- in a ceremony held by the league.
In addition to the MVP award, the NBA also presents a number of other individual honors, including the Rookie of the Year award, the Defensive Player of the Year award, and the Sixth Man of the Year award. Each of these awards is decided by a separate panel of experts, and the criteria used to determine the winners varies depending on the specific award.