Well everyone, one more series to go in this 2022 NBA postseason, with that series being the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors. And this isn’t just any NBA Finals matchup because in addition, it’s going to be a historic matchup, with the team that is tied (with the Los Angeles Lakers) for the most championships (17) in NBA history taking on the modern day NBA dynasty, as the Warriors look for a fourth NBA championship in their sixth trip to the NBA Finals over this eight-year (2015 through 2022) period.
Back when the sixteen teams were set during this past April 16, I stated on that day that the Celtics would win the East and I maintained that statement all throughout the postseason. However, I had them losing against my Phoenix Suns in seven games, only for Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks to dash my hopes this past May 15. Man, I hate the Mavericks right now.
Anyways, the Suns’ top threat (Warriors) in the Pacific Division dispatched the Mavericks in five games, while the Celtics went seven grueling games against the Miami Heat, thus this matchup. And with that being said, it’s time to make my last NBA postseason prediction of 2022.
The Warriors are looking like the Warriors of that five-year stretch where they made five consecutive NBA Finals appearances, from the standpoint that no lead is safe against them. Especially with that backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson still playing together in the league. The Celtics, on the other hand, have blown (or have almost blown) leads in games that they should have won during the past two rounds against both the Milwaukee Bucks and the aforementioned Heat, as well as come out flat in games in those two such rounds. However, they are also a team that responds well following a loss, as well as a team that has the versatility that can pose serious problems for the Warriors on both ends of the floor.
So far during this postseason, I’ve picked against the Warriors in each and every Western Conference round, only to be proven wrong in all such rounds. And while they remain a well-oiled offensive machine, they no longer have the extra dimension of an insolation player (Kevin Durant) to close out games for them on the offensive end. However, the Celtics have such a player in 24-year-old Jayson Tatum, who could do damage against the Warriors the way that Kawhi Leonard did damage against them in 2019. Plus, Ime Udoka’s bunch has a three-headed frontcourt monster in Al Horford and the Williams Brothers (Robert and Grant) that will punish the Warriors’ frontcourt on both ends of the floor, along with 2022 Defensive Player Of The Year Marcus Smart, whose length and strength will wear on Curry as this series goes on.
Defense and offensive closers win championships, and the Celtics check both boxes, with the best defense in the league this season and the already highlighted fact that Tatum is their offensive closer. So for those reasons, along with Jaylen Brown also having the proven track record of being an offensive closer and how imposing that the Eastern Conference champions will be on both ends of the floor, I have them getting championship number 18 and they will get it in six games. Yeah, I’m picking against the Warriors again, because their luck will finally run out during this postseason.
Tune in either June 11, June 14, June 17 or June 20 to see if my prediction was right or not.