11. Willis Reed (1970)
Team: New York Knicks
Opponent: Los Angeles Lakers
Result: Knicks over Lakers, 4-3
Finals stats: 23.0 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 2.8 APG
There is perhaps no more iconic image of an MVP-winning performance than Reed gamely hobbling out of the Knicks locker room to start warming up for Game 7 in Madison Square Garden, as it represents everything an MVP should give to his team. That moment has completely dwarfed the reality of what happened next; even though many think Reed carried the Knicks to victory and the title that night, he actually scored just four points and then left the game during the first quarter and did not return.
However, his performance in the first five games (he missed Game 6 with the same injury) was what really cemented his MVP case; in Game 1, he put up a 37-16-5, and for the entire series was a reliable interior presence, holding Wilt Chamberlain in check and averaged 31.8 points per game during the first four contests.