In the NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics will meet. However, before game one from the Chase Center gets underway, let’s take a look at the current odds and our prediction for the NBA Finals in 2022.
Celtics Were Huge Long Shots to Start Season
Game 7 victory over Miami Heat in Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday night has put the Celtics in a good position to advance to the NBA Finals. While the Warriors return to the NBA Finals for the sixth time in eight years.
The Dubs are the fourth franchise in NBA history to make six finals in an eight-year span 💪
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) May 30, 2022
Boston entered the season as a 50-1 underdog to win the championship, but now they have a chance to make history. First time in 35 years a team with such low odds has won the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
After missing the playoffs for the past two seasons, the Golden State Warriors were listed at 10-1 odds to win this year’s championship. Around the beginning of the season, Klay Thompson, the other Splash Brother, was making progress in his recovery after missing the previous two seasons due to two catastrophic injuries. The return of Thompson to the Warriors’ starting lineup is a huge boost to their chances of winning the NBA championship.
As a result of their success in the Conference Finals, the Warriors are expected to win this series. Boston (+140) is picked to lose to Golden State (-160).
A Series Breakdown
There is a slew of variables to consider as the NBA Finals get underway. Will the knowledge and experience of the Golden States help? Will the Celtics or Warriors be hampered by a lack of rest? Who are these teams’ role players, and how important are they to the overall success of the teams?
This year’s NBA Finals will be the first time that Golden State has ever been to the showpiece event. While players like Jordan Pool and Moses Moody, who are still learning the game, have never faced adversity like this before, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green have. Golden State Warriors join Chicago, Los Angeles, and Boston as the only teams to reach six NBA Finals in eight years.
When you consider that the Celtics have played a few more games than the Warriors, the rest could play a role in this series. Before this season, the Boston Celtics had to face Milwaukee and Miami Heat in a seven-game series. The Warriors, meanwhile, haven’t played since May 26 and have won two of their three postseason series in five games.
Although they were considered a long shot to make it to the NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics have emerged as one of the top teams in the league as we enter a new year. They finished 2021 with a losing record, but they had a strong second half of the season. Their 51-31 regular season ranks them as one of the favourites for a postseason berth, and they’re currently second in the Eastern Conference standings.
Healthy Big Three for Warriors Spells Trouble for Boston
Klay Thompson’s return from injury is a huge boost to the Warriors’ chances, as we previously noted. While he hasn’t looked like Thompson from the past, he has had some great playoff performances, including a 30 point night in Game 6 against the Memphis Grizzlies and 32 points in Game 5 against the Dallas Mavericks. The Warriors have never lost a series that Thompson, Curry, and Green started and finished together.
In their first Finals appearance, Boston has several players they expect to shine. The All-NBA level of play by Jayson Tatum culminated in his selection to the NBA First Team at the season’s end. Since the end of the Milwaukee series, Tatum’s numbers have dwindled significantly.
Against the Bucks, he scored 34 and 46 points, but in Game 4 against the Heat, he tallied 31 points. The Celtics’ Jaylen Brown has been a model of consistency as a secondary scorer, averaging 24.1 points per game in their most recent series with the Heat.
This series will feature a large number of character actors. In the Warrior’s Big Three, Draymond Green does a little bit of everything, much like Al Horford does for the Celtics, despite his lack of scoring prowess. Filling in for Marcus Smart, Derrick White had a breakout series against the Heat. Smart was either injured or in foul trouble during the series. Jordan Poole and Kevon Looney are having a great time in the postseason for the Golden State Warriors.
The Match-Up: Curry Vs. Smart
For defensive ratings, we’re looking at the league’s top two teams. To their credit, every one of the Celtics’ Defensive Players of the Year nominees received votes from their teammates. Finally, Marcus Smart won the award, becoming the first guard to do so since Gary Payton. Having to shadow Steph Curry for most of the series will be a challenge for him.
All things considered, I’m going with the Warriors. I just don’t think Golden State is good enough or experienced enough to win a game like this in the final minutes. If the trio from Golden State can stay healthy, they will be able to extend their series-winning streak of games won when each player starts and finishes each game.
Starting at 9 p.m. ET on June 3rd, the NBA Finals will tip-off from the Chase Center in Los Angeles. Game 1 begins with the Warriors as 3.5-point favourites and the Over/Under at 211.5.