Photo From: Golden State Of Mind
With 28 teams watching from afar, two teams' dreams still remain alive as they face off at the highest, most intense level the game has to offer. It wasn't easy for me as a Miami Heat fan to write this article knowing how close we were to being in that exact position, but I expect nothing but greatness from this upcoming matchup.
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This 2022 Championship matchup will display the best two defenses the league currently has, but it's the offensive power The Boston Celtics and The Golden State Warriors acquire that viewers are looking forward to. Stephan Curry is one of the strongest offensive weapons in the history of the league, will the top-rated Boston Celtics defense be able to control that. Stephan Curry also got his other splash bro back this season, Klay Thompson, after being out more than two seasons with extreme injuries. Their trio closes out with defensive machine Draymond Green. The star power we are going to witness during this finals doesn't end there, Boston has been showcasing their own power with young stars consisting of Jaylen Brown, team leader Jayson Tatum, and the DPOTY Marcus Smart.
This series should be extremely entertaining, and I expect both teams to showcase why they belong, but ultimately… There can be one champion. Who will come out on top? For the rest of the article, I want to go through a couple of matchups that can be critical during this series.
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Steve Kerr VS Ime Udoka
Both of these teams are extremely deep and very well-coached. The usual finals coaching contention narrative is one of the most interesting stories going into each series. I expect a lot of line-up decisions for both coaches. These teams faced off twice during the regular season, splitting 1-1, but neither had a full team during those matches, so this series should be full of surprises. The key difference between both of these coaches is experience and by a mile. Kerr will be coaching in his 6th NBA final, he led his team to this exact spot five years in a row, from 2015-to 2019. With a total of 121 playoff games, his success rate is high with 89 of them being won. Udoka on the other hand is new to this whole head coach thing, with only 16 playoff games under his belt I am excited to see how much that experience holds value over the course of this series.
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Klay Thompson VS Jaylen Brown
Both of these players would be considered the number two player on their team, Klay behind Steph and Brown behind Tatum. As the respected SG for their teams, It's expected for these two to spend a lot of time defending each other. This matchup is extremely important, both players are expected to supply their squads with heavy scoring. It is well known that most of the attention will be consumed by Tatum and Curry, which is why stellar performances by these secondary places could swing the entire series.
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Marcus Smart VS Stephan Curry
I mean cmon who doesn't want to see these two go at it. One of the most lethal offensive weapons trying to be contained by the best defensive rated player in the league. Considering that both payers are point guards, expect to see a lot of this pair trying to contain one another. Does Smart have enough to control playoff Curry? Will curry be able to continue at the level he has been playing at against Smart's defense?
Now I am sure I can list off multiple more matchups, but these are the main ones I believe have the most pull on this series.
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Now I want to briefly list a couple of X-Factors to look out for in this series. A big surprise this season has been Jordan Poole's extreme jump. Poole is a huge part of Golden State's offense. His isolation game and playmaking ability could really shift the momentum during games. The one downfall I see with Poole is his defense, teams realize that defense isn't his strong suit, and seek him out to pick on him. An X-Factor for the Celtics would be the turnovers the star duo presents. It is no secret that Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have been sloppy at times with the ball averaging 5.2 and 3.9 turnovers per 100 possessions during the playoffs. They are going to have to cut down on turnovers if they expect to beat the Warriors. Another thing I know is that Boston is going to need to step up their perimeter shooting to compete with one of the best shooting teams in the league. We have seen sparks of individual success during Boston’s postseason, but consistency hasn't been that apparent. Will they figure out a way to consistently show up in this series? They can't risk being hot and cold to a healthy Golden State team.
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Honestly, I believe this series is a toss-up. Both teams throughout this whole season, especially the postseason have proved why they belong in this exact position. But I think Golden State has the edge. Not only do they have the experience aspect that Boston doesn't have, but I also know they are in better shape, and healthier, than this Boston team. This Boston team just played in two seven-game series with only three days to “rest,” until the finals. While Golden State got to the finals on a much more relaxed path. But on the other hand, I think this Boston team is going to out for heads, they have a lot more to gain from this than Golden State does. No one expected this team to be in this position at the beginning of this series, yet here they are. But now they do have those expectations, will they be able to keep up with them? Ultimately, I want good basketball, if my team isn't in it, I just hope we see a good, competitive series. I predict Golden State in 7, just because I don't see them closing at TD Garden. What is your prediction? Who do you have?
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