A historic franchise of the past taking on the powerhouse of the last decade. This NBA Finals should live up to the billing as an interesting and fun series between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors.
Golden State finished the regular season just a few games better than the Celtics and will have home-court advantage in this series. The sportsbooks have them as the favorites, as well as most media pundits who only see this series going five or six games.
One of the more interesting story lines to this series is that Warriors coach Steve Kerr, and first-year Celtic coach Ime Udoka both played, and served as assistant coaches, for legendary San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
How they got here
Boston has performed as impressively in the playoffs, up to this point, as you possibly can. They had to take down the Brooklyn Nets, the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks, and the first-seed Miami Heat. The Celtics are a young team with practically zero Finals experience, and they have a first-year head coach. Their season began as bumpy as one can with talks at the beginning that Boston should consider blowing up the whole team and just starting from scratch. But they have been the best team in the league since the All-Star break and no one has stopped them since.
The Warriors, after a couple of injury-filled down years, finally got back into a rhythm with stars Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green all back on the court and healthy. They’ve also added impressive reinforcements in Jordan Poole and All-Star Andrew Wiggins. The Warriors are hungry to prove that they are still the best team of the 21st century and if they can win another Finals despite all the turmoil of the past few years, it would be impressive.
Players to Watch For:
Celtics: Jayson Tatum – This answer is simple. The Celtics are run by Jayson Tatum who is truly the next great, young star in the NBA. He grew up watching and idolizing Kobe Bryant and even wears a 24 purple sweatband despite playing for the Lakers greatest rivals. Tatum showed flashes of brilliance during the last series with the Miami Heat and when he gets hot, he knows how to share the ball and make the team play better. However, there have been times that Tatum goes cold out of nowhere and when that happens, the Celtics are in trouble.
Warriors: Steph Curry – Arguably the greatest shooter in NBA History, Curry poses a massive issue for the Celtics as he can light you up beyond the arc and quickly rain points and raise the energy level in the building. Curry is a proven winner with a bounty of rings to back up that assertion. The Celtics will have to figure out how to guard him and limit him when they can.
Most pundits have the Warriors winning in five games, maybe six. However, I am a fan of fate and there is no team with more momentum and more to prove than the Boston Celtics. This team has been doubted every single step of the way, and the chip on their shoulder only grows larger as more people doubt them. The Celtics have the league’s best defense and one of the best starting five in the NBA. If they can stay healthy, I like the Celtics winning in seven.