- Date & Location: Sunday, June 5th at the Chase Center in San Francisco, California
- Time: 8:00 p.m ET
- How to Watch: ESPN/ABC
The NBA Finals are officially underway as the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors clash in Game 2 on Sunday. This will be the fourth time these two teams meet in 2021-22, splitting the season series with one win apiece. The C's pulled out a huge comeback victory in Game 1 on Thursday behind a very solid all-around performance from the entire rotation.
The Celtics find themselves in the Finals after beating the top-seeded Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals in seven games. Boston proved to be too much for Jimmy Butler and Co. with their well-rounded offense and No. 1 ranked defense which has been wreaking havoc throughout the entire playoffs. The C's also knocked off the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks in the conference semifinals after embarrassing Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets in the first round, winning the series 4-0.
The Warriors meanwhile have enjoyed a slightly easier run to the Finals. Steve Kerr's group took out Nikola Jokic's Denver Nuggets in the opening round in just five games then benefited from Ja Morant suffering a playoff-ending injury in the conference semis as they beat the Memphis Grizzlies in six games. Golden State was preparing to face the NBA-best Phoenix Suns in the conference finals but the Dallas Mavericks ended up shocking them. However, Luka Doncic and his squad weren't any match for the Dubs, who lifted the Western Conference trophy in just five games.
2022 NBA Finals Game 2 Celtics vs Warriors Odds
|Odds to win Game 2 of NBA Finals|
|Golden State Warriors||-180||-175||-175||-190||-185|
Boston Celtics analysis
The Celtics were always considered an underdog heading into Game 1 of the NBA Finals, especially on the road. But, Ime Udoka's squad proved exactly why they're one of the last two teams standing in these playoffs. Although Jayson Tatum had an off night with only 12 points in 41 minutes of action, his teammates stepped up in a big way. Veteran Al Horford showed out for a team-high 26 points while going 6 for 8 from downtown. Jaylen Brown was also in his bag, erupting for 24 points. In fact, Boston had five different players finish in double-figures. Derrick White offered a scoring bunch off the bench too, posting 21 points. Even though Tatum struggled to score the rock though, he thrived as a facilitator, dishing 13 dimes.
Boston found themselves trailing for most of the night heading into the fourth quarter down 92-78. However, the C's dug deep and absolutely destroyed the Warriors in the final period, outscoring them a mind-boggling 40-16 to secure the 102-108 win. The three-pointer is typically a huge recipe for success for the Celtics and that was certainly the case on Thursday. Udoka's squad went a blistering 21 for 41 from deep thanks to some tremendous ball movement on the perimeter, dishing out 33 assists which resulted in countless clean looks.
The Celtics capitalized heavily on Golden State's mistakes, too. They translated 14 turnovers into 21 points and truly never threw the towel in. All in all, this was a fantastic showing from Boston, making a loud statement in the series opener. But, they'll want to get Tatum going on Sunday because even though the C's were able to come out victorious here thanks to others rising to the occasion, the only way the Celtics will actually lift the Larry O'Brien Trophy is if their superstar flourishes.
Golden State Warriors analysis
The Dubs had a firm stranglehold on Game 1 until the third but to be frank, there wasn't a lot of help for Stephen Curry. The star guard is searching for his very first Finals MVP and he got off to a promising start, collecting 34 points to lead the way for Golden State while shooting 7 for 14 from beyond the arc.
But, most of his damage came in the opening period when the C's were still finding their footing defensively. Once they figured it out, Curry only scored 13 points after the first quarter. Andrew Wiggins also had 20 points and Klay Thompson only posted 15. The bench offered limited support as well. Aside from the defense collapsing in the fourth quarter though, there were some positive takeaways from this contest.
Steve Kerr's team continues to shoot the ball well from long range, draining the triple at a 42% clip. The Warriors also kept up with the C's with the battle on the boards, grabbing 39 rebounds apiece. One player who must be better in Game 2 however is Draymond Green. A defensive lynchpin and the leader of this group, he was poor on Thursday, posting a stat line of four points, 11 rebounds, and five assists. His impact on the glass was clutch but, Draymond needs to be more of an offensive factor. To put his struggles into perspective, the veteran shot a putrid 2 for 12 from the field and 0 for 4 from deep.
Celtics vs Warriors final pick
The Dubs let Game 1 slip through their fingertips. Knowing how good of a team they really are, I expect them to bounce back and snatch Game 2 on Sunday at home. The defense and supporting cast will respond.
Pick: Golden State Warriors to win Game 2 of NBA Finals over the Boston Celtics.
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