The Golden State Warriors open Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals at home against the visiting kings of the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics. Which team takes the series lead right away?
Catch this game live on Friday, June 3, at 9 AM, Manila time.
Away: Boston Celtics (0-0/0-0 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Marcus Smart
- SG: Jaylen Brown
- SF: Jayson Tatum
- PF: Grant Williams
- C: Robert Williams
While both teams in this Finals matchup excel on both ends of the floor, the Celtics are viewed as the one whose success hinges more on defense. In the playoffs thus far, Boston is second overall in both scoring defense with 101.0 points allowed per game and in defensive rating with a 105.1 clip. The Celtics are not afraid to mix it up on defense, thanks to their versatility from 1 to 5. They can switch on almost every situation defensively, with Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, and Jayson Tatum anchoring that system. Robert Williams, while not seemingly 100% healthy yet, will be out there to force Golden State to think twice before attacking the rim. If the Dallas Mavericks’ Swiss-cheese defense and thin frontcourt allowed Kevon Looney to look like prime Hakeem Olajuwon, that’s not going to be the case in this series, with Williams and Al Horford out there to make life harder for the Warriors in the paint, on the glass, and at the rim. The Celtics appear to love playing Golden State away from home, as they are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games as the road team in this matchup.
Home: Golden State Warriors (0-0/0-0 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Stephen Curry
- SG: Klay Thompson
- SF: Andrew Wiggins
- PF: Draymond Green
- C: Kevon Looney
The Warriors are returning to the NBA Finals for the first time in three seasons, this time with the same core trio of Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Stephen Curry but with a much different flavor. Andrew Wiggins is giving the Warriors an extra wheel on offense and his commitment to contribute on defense has made him twice the player he used to be during his time with the Minnesota Timberwolves. And then there’s Jordan Poole, who is just a ball of offensive energy off the bench for the Warriors. Speaking of which, the Warriors’ bench is way more productive than Boston’s backups. Per 100 possessions, the Warriors’ relievers are averaging 48.1 points while the Celtics’ second-stringers are only generating 31.5 points under that parameter. While it was mentioned earlier that Boston’s defense is extremely switchable, the Warriors could have a plan to target Williams, as the Celtics are surrendering 1.158 points when he is making a switch as the screener defender. The Warriors enter Game 1 with a 4-0 ATS record in their last four games overall at home.
Spread: The Celtics cover (+3.5).
Over/Under: The Under (212.5) hits.