Now the final two!
The 2022 NBA season has reached its pinnacle and we are set for what looks like being a close and hard-fought final. In the Blue corner, we have the Western Conference winners Golden State. While in the Green corner the Boston Celtics await. This has all the hallmarks of a classic series but who will lift the trophy?
Well, the bookies seem to think it will be Golden State but as you can see below it might not be as clean-cut as they think. Anyway here are our observations and prediction.
Golden State’s Path To The Final
The Warriors have made light work of their postseason so far, only losing four games. In their opening series against the Denver Nuggets, they cruised into a 3-0 lead and averaged over 122 points per game. They closed it out in game five with a 102-98 win at the Chase Centre in a game that was easier than the score suggests.
The Conference Semi was more of a challenge but a stunning comeback in game four effectively sealed their -place. Here, after a poor start, the Warriors scored 39 points in the fourth quarter. One point more than they scored in the entire first half! Stephen Curry scored 8 from free throws in the last minute of play to seal a narrow 101-98 win.
They closed out the series in game six winning 110-96 to set up a meeting with Dallas.
The Warriors made short work of the Mavericks, jumping out to a 3-0 lead before a herculean performance by Luka Dončić prevented the sweep. They sealed their sixth NBA Finals in the last eight years in game five and Stephen Curry was awarded Western Conference MVP after the game.
Boston Celtics Path To The Final
The Celtics cruised through the first round sweeping the Nets. Brooklyn never really recovered from losing game one on a buzzer-beater from Jayson Tatum. Kevin Durant did all he could to keep the series alive in game four but even his 39 point performance was not enough to stop the Celtics. This was their 3rd sweep in four seasons!
The Conference Semis was a real battle and they trained three times in the series before winning the final two games to progress 4-3. The Milwaukee Bucks pushed them hard in game six and it took a huge performance from Tatum to tie the series. Giannis Antetokounmpo had a great game for the Bucks with 44 points and 20 rebounds!
This was another hard one eventually won 4-3 and the Celtics were twice behind in the series. The Celtics led from start to finish in game seven and Tatum was awarded the Eastern Conference MVP title.
Both had differing paths to the final but how did they fare in the regular season?
Regular Season Meetings
They played two regular-season games and here the honours were even. The Warriors won the first meeting 111-107 on Dec 17th, while the Celtics took the honours 110-88 on March 16, 2022. Both games end up as road victories so the fact that Golden State has home advantage in the series might not count for much.
To be fair the Warriors were without Curry for the majority of the March game and that probably affected the score if not the outcome.
The Celtics have had a hard route to the finals, and although they are deserving of their spot it’s hard not to think that they got the breaks when needed. The Warriors on the other hand have reached his stage pretty much on cruise control and their starting lineup is scary. The regular-season loss was in all probability down to Curry’s injury and overall they look to have a deeper bench too. It won’t be easy but we expect the Warriors to win this one in six.
Golden State 4 Boston 2