Basketball is tricky. It’s never as easy as receiving the ball, setting your feet while looking at the rim, and shooting your shot, is it? Your opponents will be defending you. Ending up in uncomfortable situations is inevitable, and that is truer than ever in the NBA Finals. It’s time to look at the players who stood out in those sticky, hectic situations that were ever-present in the Golden State Warriors against Boston Celtics series.
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Stud: Al Horford in Game 1
What a way to play in your first appearance in the NBA Finals. Horford was the man, especially in the fourth quarter. He ended up scoring 26 points for the Celtics including making six “where did that come from” three-pointers. The Celtics were down by 12 when the fourth quarter started and won by 12 when the game ended all because of Horford’s performance.
Dud: Al Horford in Game 2
After all the heroics Horford put up in Game 1, he fell back to earth with a loud thud the following game. The Warriors thought that there was no way Horford would have back-to-back amazing performances and they were right. Horford would only attempt four field goals in 28 minutes. He did lead all players in rebounds by grabbing eight but that was the only good thing about his game that day.
Stud: Stephen Curry in Game 4
If the Warriors lost Game 4, the Celtics would have been up 3-1 in their best-of-seven series. Curry made sure that would not happen by scoring 43 points. The Celtics only lost by 10, so if Curry did not have this scoring spree, the series could have gone a different way for the Warriors. Images of Curry screaming with joy and pumping his chest in front of Boston’s fans will be in everyone’s memory in the years to come.
Dud: Stephen Curry in Game 5
The Warriors won this game but a streak so consistent was broken. After 233 games, Curry finally had a game where he had zero three-pointers. He missed all nine attempts from three which is pretty shocking from the greatest shooter in the league today. In the end, Curry only made seven field goals out of 22 attempts but Boston’s slow start in the first quarter gave the Warriors a chance to win this game.
Stud: Andrew Wiggins in Games 5 & 6
If you are wondering why the Warriors won both games, wonder no more. Wiggins was the steady hand that guided the team to those wins. In Game 5, Wiggins had 26 points and 13 rebounds to help offset Curry’s awful shooting night. The following game, it was Klay Thompson with the cold-shooting hand and Wiggins was there again to rescue the team with an all-around game this time. He had four three-pointers, five assists, four steals, and three blocks. His performance on the defensive end made life difficult for the Celtics.
Dud: Jayson Tatum Second Half Game 6
Who would have thought that Tatum would disappear again? We all remember Tatum disappearing in Game 1 when he only made three field goals out of 17 attempts. At least he had 13 assists that time and the Celtics won. Game 6 was a different story. The assists were still there with seven but adding five turnovers did not help at all. In the last 12 minutes, he was blocked three times and at one point was so excited to drive to the hoop that he committed a traveling violation. He made a nice, emphatic dunk but that would be the only points he would have in the second half.
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