NBA Finals 2022 Prediction: Golden State Warriors vs Celtics

Author: Jomathews


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Having reached the 2022 Finals for the sixth time in eight years, the Warriors were not in search of guidance. Even after two dry seasons, it's tough to give up going the road less traveled, especially with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green along the ride. Despite Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins being a surprise addition, the Warriors bring a whole new roster to the table this time. During last year's NBA League season, the former made 11 appearances, while the latter still has a reputation to maintain. Although they were inexperienced in the playoffs, the team surpassed their predicted ceilings this season, showing the toughness they needed to succeed against better competition.

Therefore, the Warriors have returned and are eager to win the championship for the fourth time in five years. Despite the veteran trio having championship experience, the fusion of youth and quickness makes for a formidable combo. At the same time, the Celtics team hopes to expand its collection of championship rings, currently larger than the Warriors' - and bigger than everyone else except the Lakers.

Getting to this point was a long road, with a victory over Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, plus a seven-game series against the defending champion Bucks and Heat, but those obstacles can strengthen your spirit and make you stronger. Jayson Tatum is on his way to superstardom, and Jaylen Brown is proving to be an invaluable support player. Both players are outstanding in the two-way game and together make Boston a top defensive team.

As a team led by Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, the Warriors must top one of the NBA's premier franchises in order to leave their mark on the sport's history. San Francisco will host the 2022 NBA Finals featuring the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics on June 2 at 2100 hrs (EST).

 

Road to the Finals

 

Jaylen Brown is a key member of the Celtics, having been on the court for California for just one year prior to signing with the team. Averaging 24.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in his sixth NBA season, the 25-year-old forward averaged a career-high. A superior defense is on display in the Celtics' Finals, featuring players capable of disrupting operations at all five positions. Robert Williams, a second-year big man, was recognized as an All-Defensive second team member, joining Marcus Smart as the league's defensive player of the year.

In their journey to the 2022 NBA Finals, Jayson and Jaylen, two of the Bostons' best players, are also great defensive backs and have been able to fend off some of the best shooting guards this season. Following Steve Kerr's appointment as coach in 2014-15, the Celtics are the only NBA team to have won against the Warriors (10-8). Both Boston and Golden State won away from home this season in their respective season-long matchups. The most discussed moment during their matchup took place at the Chase Center on March 16, when Marcus Smart dived into the ball and bumped into Stephen Curry's legs.

Stephen sustained a sprained left foot ligament in the collision and was out for the rest of the regular season. There were only three games between Stephen, Klay, and Draymond, and it was the last game of the season before the playoffs to the 2022 NBA Finals.

As a result of Green's injury earlier this year, the Warriors' ability to block the shooting guards started to deteriorate. The unit has since recovered. The team incorporated several different schemes in the past six weeks and held up well when it counted most, posting a decent but unspectacular 110.9 defensive rating during their 13-5 triumph over the West. They haven't dominated their opponents in their past games but have managed to slow their rivals sufficiently to pull away with wins.

115.9 is the Warriors' offensive rating in the playoffs, the highest in the league. These are three EFF points higher than during the regular season. Stephen is on a roll. They have Jordan back. Kyle Thompson never disappoints. Despite his inexperience, Andrew Wiggins is poised to be an important contributor. The recent increase in aggression by Green is encouraging. Kevon is strong on offensive rebounds. That end of things has gone well.

 

The biggest Celtics concern: Can they restrict turnovers?

 

The 17 playoff games Jayson has played have resulted in 75 turnovers. In terms of the number of turnovers per game, that is an average of 4.5 more than the player next to him. Each game, Jaylen loses three balls. Their talent is great, but they make a lot of mistakes. See how the playoffs are divided up. On their way to 11 wins, the Celtics turned the ball over 12.5% of the time. They turned it over 15.9 times per game in five losses. When you do not have to constantly counteract their two-quarter defense, they are more vulnerable.

It requires first that opponents cause the ball to become loose in transition. In a slow-paced environment with the Mavericks, the Warriors simply protected the ball better than anybody else. The wings of Boston are more reckless and loose with the ball. This series could be greatly impacted by Gary Payton's likely return. It is possible for Andrew to take a break from trying to defend Tatum when necessary by switching between Jayson and Jaylen. Andrew is also among the league's best passers. Payton recorded 2.5 steals per 35 minutes this season, the most in the NBA.

This week, Iguodala will be back in practice like Payton and Porter Jr. Iguodala's prospects for the finals appear the bleakest of the three players. Should he be able to deliver something, the Warriors can suddenly mix up their lineups and cause trouble for Boston's offense, which has managed just a modest 112.1 offensive rating this postseason. Tristan, the veteran quarterback, who is most likely to start on Brown, missed the December road win in Boston. Likewise, Jordan tested positive for COVID and had to spend 10 days in a hotel room in Boston. With both key players absent, Iguodala had one of his best games of the season, tallying two blocks, two steals, and 11 points.

Kerr will have to make some tough decisions if any combo of Pritchard, Andre, and Michael enters the picture. The recent surge of Looney may make him a more important player than originally anticipated. Poole must get his minutes for the offense to move forward. Kerr usually leans toward defense in stressful situations, so he would have a wider array of weapons at his disposal against Boston.

 

Conclusion

 

Both of the NBA's most formidable defenses will square off in this 2022 NBA Finals series. The scoring teams must rise to the challenge. However, that's not an accurate portrayal. Since the year 2022 rolled out, Boston's defense has been an amazing force. This is four EFF points worse than the next closest team during the last quarter of league play. Those numbers continue into the playoffs. Over their three wins against Miami, Brooklyn, and Chicago, the Celtics produced a league-best rating of 104.9.

In this series, everything is about offense versus defense: the Warriors versus the Celtics. Can one of them succeed despite taking a step up three levels?


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