Wednesday, May 11, 2022

ESPN Analyst Gives His Ideal Celtics Finals Matchup

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -


ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith believes the Boston Celtics would be one of the teams involved in the ideal NBA Finals encounter. On May 11, 2022, he addressed ESPN’s first take, which he believes would be the ideal opponent for them if the Celtics make it to the final round of the NBA playoffs. He believes the Golden State Warriors would be the ideal matchup for the Celtics because that matchup would be so entertaining.

“I think that … Boston vs. the Warriors would be the ideal NBA Finals,” Smith said. “I want to see some offensive firepower in the NBA Finals.”

When former Celtic Kendrick Perkins responded that he’d rather see the Phoenix Suns take on the Celtics in the Finals, Smith retorted that it would be a low-points no-fun affair if these two matched. While Smith would like some defense to be played, he would prefer a high-octane offense above all else.

“I don’t want to see an 85-80 game,” Smith said. “I really don’t want to see that. I don’t want to see 90-85 games. I do not want to see this. I want to see more insults. I don’t want (the final) to be completely defenceless. I want some.”

Something to keep in mind is that Phoenix had the fifth-highest offensive rating in the regular season at 114.2 points per 100 possessions, according to NBA.com. Compare that to the Warriors, who finished 16th in the same category and scored 112.1 points per 100 possessions.

While the Warriors increased that stat to 117.3 points per 100 possessions in the playoffs, they have the second-best overall offensive rating behind the Suns, who have a 118.5 offensive rating.

Though the Celtics and Warriors last met in the playoffs in the 1964 NBA Finals—back when the dubs were still called the San Francisco Warriors—the two franchises have developed a minor rivalry over the past half decade. from 2015.

The Celtics nearly handed the Warriors their first loss of the season when they lost 124-119 in double overtime on December 12, 2015. Victory in that game gave Golden State a record-breaking 24-0 start to the season, the best start to the season in NBA history. The Warriors then lost to the Milwaukee Bucks the next day in the final end of a back-to-back.

The Celtics got their revenge on April 1, 2016 when they defeated the Warriors 109-106 at the Golden State. It wasn’t just the Warriors’ first home loss of the season. but it ended a 54-game win streak at home for them.

Since then, the Celtics and the Warriors have provided viewers with several highly entertaining games over the years. That includes one where the Celtics came back from a 17-point deficit to beat the Warriors 92-88 on November 16, 2017.

A few months later, a points duel between Kyrie Irving and Stephen Curry on January 27, 2018 ended in a 109–105 victory for the Warriors over the Celtics.

These two teams competing against each other almost seemed like a regularity. On January 26, 2019, they went toe-to-toe again before the Warriors finally prevailed 115-111 in Boston.

From 2015 to 2019, it really felt like both teams were going flat out to beat each other. In the years since, both have had either injury-related or COVID-plagued seasons that prevented them from potentially making their mark in the finals. If they met on the league’s biggest stage, it wouldn’t be hard to believe that their full-strength matchup would be just as entertaining as it has been in the past.

On March 16, 2022, the Celtics defeated the Warriors at Golden State’s home stadium, beating them 110-88. While it was a big away win for the Celtics, the post-game headline was not so much about who won as more about what happened during the game itself.

With less than five minutes left in the first half, Marcus Smart dove for a loose ball to prevent the Celtics from turning it over. In doing so, he landed on Stephen Curry’s foot, which took Curry out of the game.

Many on the Warriors side believed Smart played dirty when he went after the ball, believing he had landed on Curry’s foot on purpose to knock him out. It’s understandable why the Warriors are furious about what happened, especially since that game left Curry missing the rest of the regular season, but anyone who’s watched Marcus Smart knows he always dives for a loose ball if one is on the ground won’t matter the consequence.

It’s awful that it ended Curry’s regular season, but those who have watched Smart throughout his career know that such plays are unfortunate accidents and nothing more.

Many on the Warriors side believed Smart played dirty when he went after the ball, believing he had landed on Curry’s foot on purpose to knock him out. It’s understandable why the Warriors are furious about what happened, especially since that game left Curry missing the rest of the regular season, but anyone who’s watched Marcus Smart knows he always dives for a loose ball if one is on the ground won’t matter the consequence.

- Advertisement -
Latest news
- Advertisement -
Related news
- Advertisement -

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here