The Boston Celtics spent 48 minutes walking the wire to defeat the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals to advance to their first NBA Finals appearance since 2010. It wasn’t easy. The Celtics led up to 17 points in Game 7 against the Heat, but held on to advance into the playoffs. They will face a proven winner from the Golden State Warriors.
The Celtics will be the underdogs
The Celtics were the best defensive team in the NBA during the second half of the regular season. Not much changed in the playoffs as the Celtics faced elite players like Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jimmy Butler. The Celtics also benefited from opposing injuries. Key players like Khris Middleton and Ben Simmons missed important games in the Boston playoffs. Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors have been nearly unstoppable throughout the playoffs as the league’s most dynamic offense. Can a Celtics team that has played back-to-back 7-game series stop the deadliest offense in the NBA right now?
Celtics play well against Warriors
Golden State has a roster that boasts 123 games of NBA Finals experience. Conversely, the Boston Celtics roster has a combined experience of 0 NBA Finals games. The experience factor is real but the Celtics’ roster matches up well with Golden State’s key players. Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Derrick White will be tasked with trying to slow down the Warriors’ most explosive weapons, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Grant Williams and Al Horford should be glued like glue to Draymond Green. Who covers Jayson Tatum at the other end of the floor is a big question and it’s undoubtedly where the Celtics should have a major advantage.
The Celtics can beat the Warriors
If injuries aren’t a factor in the series, the Boston Celtics could head to the No. 18 banner. The Celtics will need to close out games with more efficiency than they did against the Miami Heat. Golden State is shutting down games and the Celtics will have to rely on Tatum, Brown and Smart to elevate their game to championship caliber.
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