The ships have anchored and we now sit at the bay of the 2022 NBA Finals. The playoffs have been a thriller once again and you can expect the same in the Finals. Steve Kerr and his Warriors are back again as they quest for their seventh title. The East, on the other hand, flaunts the Celtics in pursuit of their 18th banner. The Dubs cruised their way through the Conference Finals as they routed Luka Doncic and the Mavericks in a 4-1 edge. While it may not be the matchup that fans initially presumed, the Finals will be far from mundane. As both sides prepare for Thursday night’s Game 1, here’s a breakdown of how things might pan out.
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It has been quite the journey for both squads. While they met just twice in regulation, which settled in a series split, this matchup will be the showstopper of the century. The Warriors, who have soared their way through the 2022 playoffs, are coming off a Maverick demolition. While they failed to keep Doncic in check, the Warriors put a clamp on the remains of the Dallas offense. In terms of offense, the Dubs were merely undeniable. Whether Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson‘s majestic game seven, restraining the Warrior offense will not be a simple task. Alongside the forces in Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins, you can expect the Dubs to turn in yet another offensive extravaganza.
The Celtics themselves have held their own throughout their playoff run. Jayson Tatum has yet again been the focal point of Ime Udoka‘s offense. Aside from his Game 3 scuffle of the Conference Finals, the 6’8″ forward is yet to abort the Celtic offense. Tatum will likely maintain his tenacity on both ends of the court and the Warriors must be up for the challenge. Moreover, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown also had their share of success in the previous round. While Smart’s ankle was a concern that put him out of commission for game four, the tenacious guard played a vital role in Udoka’s playbook.
Boston Celtics X-Factor: Al Horford
We chose Grant Williams as the X-Factor in the previous series. However, Horford has established a steadfast presence on both defense and offense which deserves the holler. We have seen Horford shine in the regular season, however, the playoffs have bestowed a new life into the veteran forward. Whether his 20-piece in Game 3 or his command in the rebounding department.
Golden State Warriors X-Factor: Kevon Looney
Kerr has found a stud in the form of Looney. While he may not bring the efficiency on offense, Looney can grab a board like nobody’s business. The Dubs don’t have the size that the bulk of NBA teams is fortunate to have. The first-round pick has proven otherwise and the Celtics have another problem to attest to. Whether Robert Williams or Horford, Looney will not be easy to restrain.
Series Prediction: Golden State Warriors 4 – Boston Celtics 2
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