What an exciting finals matchup in the league’s 75th year of existence. Both the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors had phenomenal regular seasons and even better playoff runs. Boston routed Brooklyn, out-dueled Milwaukee and edged out Miami. There was either a sweep or a full seven game series. The Warriors broke down Denver, Memphis and Dallas teams highlighted by stars who finished their seasons with injuries or gasping for air. That’s why whoever loses this series could feel a low unlike any other. It’s time to break down which team has the best chance of winning not just another championship, but raising a banner on a notable and memorable NBA season.
#2 Boston Celtics v. #3 Golden State Warriors
There’s a lot to love about Golden State this year. The trio of Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green came back at full health entering the playoffs. Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole played lights-out all three rounds. Additional depth play from Kevon Looney, Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr. solidify a top defensive unit and high scoring juggernaut.
The Celtics took advantage of every mismatch and outplayed every top opponent in the east. They bullied stars in every series. Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Al Horford are a fabulous four player set who take on and shut down any center or guard. Robert Williams, Daniel Theis and Payton Pritchard helped slow down forwards and offensive threats when playing major minutes. While Boston was pushed to the max their last two series, they stepped up and played their best basketball.
Verdict: This is a toss-up series. Both teams have every box checked and can convince any casual to hardcore basketball fan they can win. Yet the Warriors have some advantages Boston does not. Golden State is more seasoned, more experienced, and have more depth and offensive firepower the Celtics have yet to face in a full series. Ime Udoka hasn’t coached a team to the finals like Steve Kerr has. While the series will be fun, it won’t be surprising if the Warriors smother Boston the longer the series goes.
Prediction: Warriors win series and the NBA’s Larry O’Brien Trophy 4-1
2022 NBA Playoff Picks Record: 10-4