The NBA Finals series is set between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors. The Warriors will have home-court advantage for the series, and this has given them a slight betting edge over the Celtics in the series. These two teams will undoubtedly have one of the best series we have seen this playoffs as the Warriors are one of the best offensive teams in the NBA, and the Celtics have been one of the best defensive teams. There will be no shortage of star power in this NBA Finals series either as the Warriors have two of the most popular players in the league in Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, while Boston has Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Both of these teams have been some of the best overall in the league this year since the new year. The Warriors were dealing with some injuries to their key players earlier in the year, as Boston struggled to figure out their team dynamic early. Each team ultimately came into their own towards the end of the regular season, and they have not looked back all the way to the NBA Finals. While the Warriors are the betting favorites to win it all, Boston should not be taken lightly. This one could go either way.
Warriors Sixth Trip to the Finals
Golden State went into this season as one of the betting favorites to win another championship. This will be their sixth trip to the Finals in the last eight years and could be their fourth championship in the same time period. After making the Finals five years in a row, the Warriors were unable to make the playoffs the last two years. They were dealing with injuries to their star players and the loss of Kevin Durant in free agency after the 2019 season. This year they became fully healthy with the return of Klay Thompson and then getting Steph Curry and Draymond Green back from injury towards the end of the regular season. These injuries were tough for them to endure, but it helped develop some of their other players such as Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, and Gary Payton II.
Heading into the playoffs, the Warriors were also one of the betting favorites to win it all behind just the Phoenix Suns. After each team's first-round series where the Warriors made easy work of the Nuggets and the Suns struggled with the Pelicans, the betting odds switched to favor the Warriors, and they never looked back. Golden State was able to get past the Grizzlies in a tough series and then had very little issues defeating the Mavericks in just five games. The Grizzlies may have been their toughest competition in the playoffs thus far until they meet up to face the Celtics in the upcoming NBA Finals.
Boston has had the same core group for a handful of years now. They have made trips to the Eastern Conference Finals before but could never get over that hump to make the NBA Finals. Going into this season the betting odds on them to win the championship were not great. They were behind three or four other teams in their own conference. A couple months into the season and they were in the 11th spot in the East. Then, they all of a sudden clicked and were one of the best teams in the entire league for the rest of the year. Boston made it all the way to the first position in the East at one point and finished with the second-best record in the conference.
The Celtics had one of the unluckiest draws out of any of the top teams in the league as they had to face off against the Brooklyn Nets in the first round. The Nets were one of the favorites to win the championship before the season began and still were seen as title contenders at this point. It was expected to be a very close series, but Boston ultimately won it in four games sweeping the Nets. Their playoff run never really got any easier as their next series was against the reigning NBA-champion Milwaukee Bucks, which the Celtics won in seven games. Next, they had to face the team with the best regular season record in the East, the Miami Heat. Boston looked like they were going to run away with the series at various points, but Miami kept coming back. Boston eventually closed the series out in seven games.
A Tough Path to the Final
Boston has had one of the toughest paths to the Finals maybe ever, but now they could be facing their even biggest challenge of the playoffs so far. No team actually matches up well with the Warriors due to their unique ability to move the ball around, play unselfishly, and knock down threes with some of the best three-point shooters the game has ever seen on their roster.
The first thing Boston will have to do is use their unique size advantage to disrupt some of what the Warriors have been doing all playoffs. Boston has the size advantage at basically every position in the starting lineup. Having two big men who will have an advantage rebounding will be crucial for Boston to gain a slight edge over Golden State.
The Celtics' defense is arguably tailored the best to defend the Warriors, however. This team can switch any position, everyone of their players who will play a big role can defend, and they have the length and speed to defend the fastbreak and three point line. Everyone on the team will need to continue to work together on defense to slow down this Golden State offense.
On offense, Boston will look to attack the weak points of this Golden State team. That will include going directly at Steph Curry as well as Jordan Poole. Those are two of the few defenders on both of these teams that can be exploited. Boston not only has great defenders, but they have two of the best scorers in the NBA as well in Tatum and Brown. They will need to be big offensively in this series for the Celtics to have a chance against Golden State.
The Warriors have arguably had an easier run to the Finals compared to the Celtics. If you compare the Nuggets, Grizzlies, and Mavericks to the Nets, Bucks, and Heat, a knowledgeable NBA fan may very well rank those three Eastern Conference teams all ahead of the three Warriors' Western Conference opponents as far as talentwise. Still, the Warriors are for real and they can beat any team if Curry and Thompson are hot from the three-point line. Golden State has been rolling, but Boston may be their toughest opponent yet in these playoffs by far.
Confidence is Key!
The first thing the Warriors will need to do is come into this series with confidence. It is not something that they lack, but we have seen teams like the Phoenix Suns get flustered by the Pelicans and then the Mavericks defenders. Boston's defense is like both of those teams on steroids. The Celtics are more athletic, more physical, and longer than both of those teams and could end up giving a team like the Warriors fits.
If Golden State is not able to get going enough against this aggressive Celtics' defense, they likely won't win this series. Beyond that, the Warriors will have to shoot well. In most of their losses in the playoffs so far, they just weren't hitting their shots even when they were getting some good looks all game. The Warriors are really good, but they do sometimes live and die by the three, especially against tougher opponents.
Finally, the Warriors will have to play some great defense. Golden State is a great defensive team, but the Celtics may be the best defending team in the entire league. While Boston is exceptional on defense, they are no slouches on offense. The Celtics have two of the best scorers in the NBA in Tatum and Brown as well as good supporting players like Marcus Smart, Al Horford, and Derrick White who can also score and shoot. The Celtics will try to expose Curry and Poole on defense, so those two will especially need to step up for them to win another championship.
It has been a long run to the Finals for both Boston and the Warriors. These teams both play inspired basketball on both ends of the court. They are truly great all-around teams that definitely stand out compared to any other teams in the league. This series will start four days after the Celtics' season ended and a full seven days after the Warriors beat the Mavericks to advance to another Finals. Boston has finally got their roster to an NBA Finals, while the core of the Warriors is making their sixth Finals appearance in the last eight years. The Warriors dynasty could be coming near to a close and getting another championship could solidify this group as one of the best teams ever.
Boston Celtics @ Golden State Warriors: Online Betting Odds
- Boston Celtics: (+4) 10/11
- Golden State Warriors: (-4) 10/11
- Boston Celtics: 33/20
- Golden State Warriors: 20/37
- Boston Celtics: Over (215.5) 10/11
- Golden State Warriors: Under (215.5) 10/11
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