Celtics or Warriors? Our writers share their predictions for the NBA Finals | NBA Finals


What the Warriors need to do to win

If Golden State Play Warriors Basketball™ (the ball flies around like a hot potato, everyone eats) you can win this series pretty easily. You also have the luxury of a potential Steph Curry or Klay Thompson supernova each night, which helps. But if they’re playing their kind of basketball, they don’t necessarily need one. CDL

If there’s one thing Golden State have proven over the years, it’s that when they’re healthy and playing their basketball style, it’s hard enough to beat them in a game, let alone four. With three different ones Players returning from injury for the final, at least the health question has been answered. tf

Staying healthy and keeping their big three (Curry, Thompson, Draymond Green) out of Covid-19 protocols? In all honesty, if the well-rested Warriors play their basketball style, take advantage of Boston’s mental weaknesses (see below), and keep Jayson Tatum from a Finals performance for the ages, the Warriors should win their fourth title of the century. HF

The warriors will win if they Lean on their playoff experience and overwhelm the youthful Celtics. Curry, Green and Thompson have played 82 NBA Finals games combined. In comparison, the entire Boston team will make their finals debut. In addition, the Warriors are equipped with a high-octane offense that can ignite at any time. Curry and Thompson will lead, but they’re nearly unbeatable when Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins can also be explosive offensively. ARS

What the Celtics need to do to win

The Celtics came here in large part their defenses. They have been the No. 1 defense in the league since early 2022. You’ll need to play the toughest version of this defense to bring down an offensive juggernaut like the Warriors. CDL

Stay healthy. Several key players – mainly Marcus Smart and Robert Williams III – have been in and out of the line-up so many times that you’d think they were tossing a coin to decide whether to play on any given night. If this trend continues, Boston is in jeopardy. tf

When the Celtics fire on all cylinders, they are unstoppable. Unfortunately, they always seem to get in their own way. Boston cannot afford to make their work harder B. by committing unforced sales, putting together inexplicably bad quarters and/or getting the officers in their heads. The more experienced warriors will make them pay if they do. HF

The Celtics will win if they Be persistent on defense. While the Celtics faced the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Celtics held the heat in several low-scoring quarters, including an 11-point first quarter in Game 4. The Celtics can also increase their chances of winning if Al Horford and Robert Williams are able to dominate the color. ARS

Your NBA Finals MVP will be

Stephen Curry already has a fairly crowded trophy case (his accolades include three NBA championships and two regular-season MVPs), but it includes a somewhat surprising and sometimes controversial omission: he’s never won a Finals MVP. I would bet this is the year that changes for him. CDL

The man, the myth, the legend, curry myself. I could have easily gone with Andrew Wiggins here, but when I look at the stars at night, they seem so focused on Steph finally getting his final MVP trophy and elevating his legacy a little more. tf

The smart money lies with Steph Curry, of course, but let’s not forget that Splash Brother Clay Thompson is able to take the lead by putting together a streak-long, long-range shooting streak that could give even Boston’s acclaimed defense trouble finding answers, especially if their game plans focus on Steph to start the streak. HF

Jayson Tatum. During the Eastern Conference Finals, Tatum was able to consistently initiate his offense against a stingy Heat defense that choked Trae Young and James Harden in the earlier rounds. Tatum won’t face as much defensive pressure as he does with adequate but not great defenders Thompson and Wiggins. Tatum will average nearly 30 points per game to earn MVP honors. ARS

Unannounced player to watch

In many ways, this series depends on the effectiveness of the Celtics defense and, due to the transitive nature, the Time Lord. Robert Williams III. He may be their most versatile defender, but he’s struggling with a knee injury and definitely didn’t look like himself in the Miami series. If he gets any fraction closer to 100% in the Finals, his defensive prowess will give the Celtics a real chance . CDL

Gary Payton II has been out for several weeks and broke his elbow against Memphis, and some people may have forgotten just how impactful he can be for the Warriors. That elbow injury could affect his ability to shoot when he returns, but he’s such an excellent defender that maybe that doesn’t matter too much. tf

Andrew Wiggins has endured arguably the strangest career of any finalist, from being the top pick in the 2014 NBA draft to Rookie of the Year and a borderline failure with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Luckily for him, he rediscovered his shooting style with the Warriors and saved some of his best basketball results for the postseason. It’s hard not to support him, even if you’re a Warriors hater. HF

Al Horford. The 15-year veteran will finally shed the dubious distinction of having played in the most postseason games without reaching an NBA Finals. Throughout the playoffs, Horford has found ways to make game-changing plays with defense and timely three-pointers. He might be the biggest X factor on the show. ARS

Robert Williams III
Boston center Robert Williams III (right) was a key defensive presence for the Celtics. Photo: Wilfredo Lee/AP

A bold prediction

Again, Stephen Curry should finally get his long-overdue Finals MVP this year, which would mean the Warriors would win the chip. But should the Celtics cause an upset here, I’ll call it now: Al Horford will have his moment in the sun and against all odds, win the finals as Andre Iguodala-style MVP. CDL

commentary teams Campaign for Mark Jackson to get a job. Jackson laid the foundation for the Warriors dynasty but has not received another coaching job to date. Expect at least one of his fellow commentators to bang the table and beg a team – any Team – to hire this man. tf

We get a repeat of the Al Horford game. The Celtics needed an all-time game from 35-year-old big man Al Horford to win Game 4 of their epic series against the Milwaukee Bucks, where he scored 30 points on 11-for-14 shooting. It was uncharacteristic of Horford, who is more of the consummate sticky type than someone who compiles flashy stat lines, but if Boston needs him again look for a repeat. HF

Nia Long and Deuce Tatum will find ways to go viral. Long, the fiancee of Celtics head coach Ime Udoka, and Deuce, son of Jayson Tatum, have both stolen the off-court spotlight with viral moments during the playoffs. We can expect Long, an accomplished actress, to celebrate victories with a happy dance and four-year-old Deuce to support his father’s teammates, both of which cause social media to riot. ARS

How would this Warriors team have fared against LeBron’s Cavs in the 2015-18 Finals?

In many ways, this roster is actually much deeper than the pre-Kevin Durant Golden State teams of years past. But as a self-confessed LeBron Stan, I can’t help but be optimistic that he’s at the peak of his powers he could have defeated a team without Durant featuring a 34-year-old Stephen Curry and an unpredictable version of Klay Thompson returning from two serious leg injuries. CDL

Pretty good. One of the few advantages the Cavs had over the Warriors in 2015-18 was theirs superior athletics. While Steph, Klay and Draymond may be older now, the rest of this Warriors roster is undoubtedly more athletic than their predecessors. tf

As funny as the Warriors story was, if you want to take it back to 2015-18, the Cavaliers win at least one more title. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are all older, after all, and Kevin Durant (who was Finals MVP in both 2017 and 2018) wouldn’t make the return trip. These warriors don’t actually have a death array, more like a medically induced coma array. HF

The 2021-22 Warriors are good, but the 2015-18 Warriors were great. It was a team that could have rivaled any of the best NBA teams in history, including the 1997 Chicago Bulls or the 2001 LA Lakers. However, this year’s Warriors team would likely win two games against the Cavs Team with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. ARS

The winner will…

Warriors 4-2 Celtics. There’s a lot of nuance in predicting who will lift the Larry O’Brien trophy. But let’s keep it simple: We’ve watched basketball for too many years to bet against a healthy Stephen Curry, who’s still the greatest shooter the NBA has ever seen. CDL

Warriors 4-2 Celtics. Let’s focus on coaching and experience. Or, in the case of Boston, the lack of it. Ime Udoka did an excellent job in his first season as head coach in reaching the finals, but he made some questionable decisions towards the end of the season. Steve Kerr and his core have been here many times: that experience could prove crucial in the bright light of the finals. tf

Warriors 4-2 Celtics. These Celtics could stir things up: While they got off to a rocky start to the season and struggled to hold a .500 record while rookie head coach Ime Udoka adjusted to his new role, Boston has been the best team in the NBA since the start of 2022. However, their inexperience forced them to play more games in the postseason than they probably should have. Look for them for a big road win before the Warriors take control of the series. HF

Celtics 4-3 Warriors. It’s common to side with Golden State who have the experience advantage and home field advantage. However, this Celtics team seems predestined. They decimated a Nets team led by Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving; they bottled Giannis Antetokoumpo just enough to eliminate the defending champion; They outlasted a Top Heat side. It’s a team that won’t be denied, even against the more tried and tested Warriors roster. ARS

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