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The NBA Finals are upon us and features the Eastern Conference Champion, Boston Celtics, and the Western Conference Champion, Golden State Warriors. This will a series between a more defensive-minded Celtics’ team against a Golden State team that has dangerous scorers all over the floor. This should be an interesting series.
The Celtics eliminated the Brooklyn Nets 4-0 in the first round, took out defending champion Milwaukee 4-3, and made it to the finals defeating Miami 4-3 in a very physical series. They have proven scorers in Jayson Tatum, (27 points per game) and Jaylen Brown (23 pre game). Marcus Smart has been very good in this run with his toughness, defense and his 15.5 scoring average. Veteran Al Horford has been instrumental as well. Boston is a solid defensive team and they took the Heat out of their game, the longer that series went on. They let Miami shoot the ball from long range and gambled that they wouldn’t shoot a good percentage. They stopped the Heat from penetrating and getting to the basket. That strategy will not work against a great perimeter shooting team like the Warriors. So, they will have to go out and challenge the Golden State shooters. The other key for Boston will be how well they hit the perimeter shot. They only shot 45% from the field against the Heat. But Miami is a great defensive team and that had something to do with the shooting percentage for Boston.
Out in San Francisco, the Golden State Warriors have been patiently waiting for their opportunity to win another NBA championship. They are healthy as they’ve ever been and when they are clicking offensively, they are almost impossible to beat. They eliminated Denver in 5 games in Round 1, handled the pesky Memphis Grizzlies in 6, and had their way with Dallas, ending their season in 5 games in the Western Conference Finals. This is a dangerous team with a ton of lethal weapons. Their game is perimeter shooting and they are the best in the NBA at it. Superstar, Stephen Curry is averaging 25.7 points, Klay Thompson 19.8, Jordan Poole, 18.4, and Andrew Wiggins 15.8. That foursome has the capability to go off at any minute and it’s no surprise if any of them can score in the 30’s. Golden State is shooting 49% from the floor, 38% from behind the arc, and they are averaging 115 points per game.
We have a fascinating contrast in styles. Boston is going to bring a physical, in your face, style of basketball, that the Eastern Conference is famous for. On the other hand, the Warriors will counter with a uptempo, gunslinging shootout style of offense. Golden State is prettier to watch, but the toughness of the Celtics can’t be overlooked. The Warriors have the home court advantage and they are undefeated in San Francisco in the playoffs. I like the Warriors in 5, maybe 6 games, in a series that should feature close games. I think, in the end, Golden State has a little too much firepower for a Celtics team that is a little short on depth and offense.
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