The Boston Celtics are off to a great start in the 2022 NBA Finals, as they now have a 1-lead over the Golden State Warriors in the series. Can the Celtics expand that lead? Or, will the Warriors tie it all up?
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Away: Boston Celtics (1-0/1-0 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Marcus Smart
- SG: Jaylen Brown
- SF: Jayson Tatum
- PF: Grant Williams
- C: Robert Williams
Al Horford’s NBA Finals debut was a memorable one, as the veteran center further vindicated Brad Steven’s move to trade for him by pacing the Celtics in Game 1’s 120-108 win with 26 points on 9/12 shooting from the field. Can Horford shoot like that again? Even though it’s hard to sustain, Horford making his shots from the perimeter should only loosen up Golden State’s defense going forward. Speaking of which, Boston’s vaunted defense gave the Warriors a bad taste in the mouth in the series opener, especially in the fourth quarter.
That same defense also helped the Celtics claw their way back to the game, with Golden State often struggling to finish possessions with buckers because of Boston’s suffocating, switch-heavy approach on that end of the floor. And then there’s Jayson Tatum, whose shooting sputtered in Game 1 with just 12 points (3/17 FG) but managed to drop 13 dimes. Tatum can only go up from that and that could mean much better things for the Celtics, who are 4-1 ATS in their last five games.
Home: Golden State Warriors (0-1/0-1 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Stephen Curry
- SG: Klay Thompson
- SF: Andrew Wiggins
- PF: Draymond Green
- C: Kevon Looney
Just like what Draymond Green said after Game 1, the Warriors had the win in their hands for the most part of that contest, so say what you want to say about how Golden State shot itself in the foot by going cold in the fourth quarter, but this team remains very dangerous. Stephen Curry got his shooting going early in the series opener, finishing with 34 points on 12/25 shooting including seven 3-pointers, while Andrew Wiggins had 20 points on 8/15 shooting.
The good thing for the Warriors is that they’re still going to be at home for Game 2, which means a favorable atmosphere for them to gain back momentum in this series. Golden State struggled to weather the Celtics’ comeback in Game 1 in part because Curry didn’t get much help on offense, but that could be fixed right away if Jordan Poole provides better numbers in Game 2 after going just 2/7 for 9 points in the loss. The Warriors have covered the spread in 29 of their last 34 home games against a team with a winning road record.
Spread: The Warriors cover (-4).
Over/Under: Taking the Under (215.5).