One of the Golden State Warriors or the Boston Celtics will be the new NBA champions in around two weeks’ time. After a long and grueling season, it has come to two of the most successful franchises in NBA history battling against each other for the sport’s ultimate prize. Boston has the history and prestige of their legacy, but recency bias when it comes to greatness belongs to the GS Warriors.
California will be represented by a team that has participated in five of the last seven NBA finals series, winning three of them, as stated by onlinesportsbetting.net. Boston has not made it this far for 12 years and has not lifted the trophy since 2008. Another championship would take the Celtics above the Lakers as the most successful franchise in NBA history though. While we’re sure the Bay Area team won’t be thinking about keeping the Lakers at the top of the NBA summit, they will be looking to win this game due to their own legacy. Can they do it remains to be seen, as Boston will have the burden of their history on their back both as a reminder of who they are and a motivation to keep on piling the success established by the likes of Bill Russell and Larry Bird in the past.
Can Boston Stop Steph Curry?
Steph Curry has another chance to further cement himself into the NBA history books as he leads the Golden State Warriors into the NBA Finals this year. At 34, Curry has only been improving if anything and has shown through the postseason how deadly he can be with the ball in his hands. While there certainly were greater players than him in the league the mark he left will be remembered for a long time. Stph has changed the 3pt game, and his partnership with Klay Thompson will be remembered long after the pair has left the NBA.
His ability to shoot from just about anywhere on the court is well known. But that doesn’t make him any easier to stop. The attention afforded to Curry will also allow other Warriors the opportunity to find space to cause problems for Boston. The Celtics have to somehow work out how to stop him. This will be no easy task by any means, as GSW has a loaded team which wasn’t the case in the past few seasons when they were an injury riddled team.
For this final, they will finally have Thompson healthy, and Draymond Green plays like DPOY. We also shouldn’t forget the resurrected Andrew Wiggins. After initially being the controversial figure due to his COVID-19 vaccine stance early in the year, after getting the shot, he has been completely focused on his game. While Curry remains the superstar, Warriors have plenty to lean on in case Boston stops him. Can they do this?
Boston Defensive Strength
If anyone can stop Curry and the rest of the Golden State team it might just be Boston. Defensive Player of the Year, Marcus Smart will probably be given the task of limiting Step Curry’s contribution during the series. But the Celtics have been one of the best defensive teams in the entire league this season.While this is the case, you really need team defence and a special recipe to stop Steph. The 3pt maestro showed that not even double teaming him isn’t the solution. Not to mention his ability to hit half-court shots like they’re layups. But, let’s get back to the Celtics defence. What about it?
In fact, only the Warriors have been as impressive without the ball in the playoffs – and they played two games fewer. As well as Smart, Robert Williams was named in the All-NBA Defensive Second Team this season – so there is some depth in that category for Boston. Defending will only be enough to take the Boston franchise half the way. In order to win they’ll need to be impressive on both ends of the court. After all, the Celtics have a longer and more impressive history. But when we look at the last decade, it is the Warriors who have the experience on their side.
Golden State Rest Period
At this level of elite sports, every single player is at the top of his game. So the minor details can sometimes make all the difference. So the Warriors being able to play two fewer games than the Celtics during the playoffs might be important. The Golden State bodies will not have had to go through as much as their Boston counterparts.Furthermore, they have been game managing some of their biggest starts. While Curry was putting up the minutes, Klay was slowly brought into the game during the season. His minutes increased during their play-off run, and we can expect him to play a role in the finals too.
But even more important might be the fact that the Dubs wrapped up their Conference Finals series against the Mavs on May 26. That five-game series finished a whole three days before the Celtics finally overcame the Miami Heat in seven games. That extended recovery period could prove to be decisive. While the individual quality might be on the side of the Warriors, they certainly are lacking depth at a few positions. But, players such as Garry Payton II and Nemanja Bjelica can make an impact too. We shouldn’t also forget the experience of Andre Igoudala, Jordan Poole, and Kevon Looney.
Home Court Advantage
Alongside the added rest time enjoyed by the Golden State Warriors, the Western Conference champions will also have home advantage to fall back on. Boston showed in Miami that it is quite possible to go to another team’s home arena when the stakes are high and win. But doing it in the NBA Finals is something else. These Warriors teams sure know how to win when it matters. And this time they won’t have LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard against them.
The Warriors lost just 10 games at home during the regular season and then won nine out of nine at the Chase Center in the playoffs. The team with home court advantage has also won six of the last finals. One of those was at a neutral venue – although one of the anomalies was Golden State losing to the Cavs in 2016. But,a s we said, there will be no teams led by King James in the finals so the Warriors can relax a bit.
Warriors or Celtics?
This finals series has all the makings of a classic. Golden State is the favourite to become NBA champions once again. But there is something about this Celtics defence that might just upset the odds.It all comes down to how you perceive basketball. In football they always say, offence wins games but the defence wins championships. Can this recipe be applied here?
Winning in seven – on the road – is a tough ask for Boston. But if the series gets to that point then it could be the strength on that side of the ball that wins the day. There is no guarantee when it comes to predicting winners, of course. But Golden States in sixis as good a pick as any, and that’s our pick for you.