2022 NBA Finals Preview
Written by: James Jefferson
When the NBA season first began, very few people were talking about two teams in particular that could be serious NBA Finals contenders: the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors. Well, fast forward seven months, that’s what the NBA Finals are this year. Not the Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets, Phoenix Suns or Milwaukee Bucks.
The Celtics playoff journey might be the toughest road any NBA Finals participant had to endure in terms of competition. In the first round, they made quick work of the preseason favorite Brooklyn Nets in a four-game sweep. In the second round, they took down the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks in a thrilling seven game series. They had gotten back to the Eastern Conference Finals thanks to the spectacular offensive play of Jayson Tatum and more importantly, their stellar defense. The Celtics rank number two in defensive efficiency in the NBA. In the Conference Finals, they would once again be tested facing the number one seeded Miami Heat and while it wasn’t pretty, they scraped and clawed their way to winning in seven games including a game seven road win in Miami.
For the Golden State Warriors, it’s business as usual for them. This will be their sixth NBA Finals appearance in eight years. The difference is the fact that they are healthy this time around with their big three of Klay Thompson, Steph Curry and Draymond Green, in addition to having young talent emerge with the likes of Jordan Poole and Johnathon Kuminga. The Warriors playoff journey consisted of beating the Denver Nuggets and MVP Nikola Jokic in five games in the first round. That was followed by a gritty six game series victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in the conference semifinals. They faced the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals, and it was quick work. They eliminated superstar Luka Doncic in five. Like the Celtics, defense is the Warriors calling card. The Warriors rank number one in defensive efficiency in the NBA.
So, the question is: what gives? I believe this NBA Finals will go down to the wire. The difference will be the role players on each team.
I look for the Celtics biggest role players, Marcus Smart, Jaylon Brown and Al Horford just to name a few to rise to the occasion when called upon. I’m uncertain about what the Warriors will bring in terms of role players.
With that said, my pick for the 2022 NBA Finals: the Boston Celtics in seven games.