If you consider the '80s as the start of the modern era, then it's easily Cedric Maxwell and Chauncey Billups.
@ Kobe in '10. Even most people were saying that even if the Lakers had lost that series that Kobe could get the Finals MVP award ala Jerry West when he lost in the Finals, but still won MVP in '69.
Kobe limited Rondo big time. Everyone was proclaiming him the best PG in the game before that series. Other than one game, he never went off. The one game he did, Kobe was in foul trouble.
I don't think most people realize how tough it is for a guard to get 15 rebounds. Kobe came up huge in game 7. Who kept the team in perspective the whole series? Kobe and Fisher. If you pay attention to those press conferences, Kobe was sending a message to the team. Gasol mentioned this.
Kobe disrupted the most important player on the other team (Rondo). Rondo is the engine that made the Celtics run. Kobe turned him into the Little Engine that Couldn't.
The bottom line is that nobody shot well for their positions. Kobe's FG% in game 7 is the only reason this is a discussion. Regardless his overall stats are by far the best. And I said before it's based purely on numbers without the biases and agendas found on ISH. I know Kobe detractors really wanted Gasol to win it, but his numbers although good for him, aren't Kobe's.
29 PTS 8.0 REBS 5 AST 2.14 STL