NBA Finals Series Prediction – Boston vs. Golden State

NBA Finals Series Prediction – Boston vs. Golden State

The Golden State Warriors are the favorite to beat the Boston Celtics in what should be an entertaining NBA Finals. These teams split in the regular season with Golden State winning from Boston on Dec. 17, 111-107. That came without Klay Thompson as Steph Curry led the way with 30 points and Andrew Wiggins added 27. Boston won on the road on March 16, 110-88 as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown had 26 points apiece. Jordan Poole led the way for the Warriors with 29 points as Curry scored just three points in 13 minutes (was injured) and Thompson went 1-for-11 from 3-point range.

The Celtics had the more difficult path after sweeping Brooklyn in the first round, then downing Milwaukee in seven and Miami in seven to make their first Finals since 2010. Their most impressive attribute has been their ability to win on the road. They went 7-2 on the road and won Game 7 in Miami when road teams were hitting just .23% in Game 7s. This is a team that is led by Tatum (27ppg, 6.7rpg, 5.9apg in the playoffs), a first-team All-NBA player who is one of the premier two-way players in the NBA. He’ll likely defend Wiggins, while Brown (22.9ppg, 6.8rpg, 38.6% 3pt) should match up with Thompson. Brown is an outstanding second option and at times a first option when Tatum is off. The major concern is Brown’s struggles with his ballhandling in traffic as turnovers tend to be a problem. In the Miami series, Brown had 12 turnovers over his last three games. Marcus Smart (15.5ppg, 6.2apg, 33% 3pt) played banged-up in the Miami series (he missed two games). Fortunately, before the trade deadline, GM Brad Stevens traded for guard Derrick White (8.1ppg, 2.8apg), who has been very good off the bench and as a sometimes starter. At center, Al Horford (10.1ppg, 40.5% 3pt) has been a pleasant surprise, but he won’t be needed when the Warriors go with their “death lineup” of small ball excellence. That’s where Grant Williams (10.1ppg) comes into play and he certainly has the girth and motor to match up with Draymond Green. This is a very good team that has versatility, size, depth and a superstar in Tatum. Is that enough after getting by two grueling series to upset the Warriors?

Golden State could have been a true dynasty had Thompson not torn his ACL and ruptured his Achilles. He did not play in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. This year, he’s only played in 32 games, but managed to average 20.4 points on 38.5% three-point shooting in the regular season and 19.8 pints (38.8% 3pt) in the regular season. He’s also played 35 minutes per game in the playoff to lead all Golden State players, which is incredible when you think about it, but also could be a concern for Steve Kerr in the postseason. Curry (25.9ppg, 6.2apg, 38% 3pt) has done Curry things in the postseason. You can nitpick his mediocre three-point shooting (for him) and his free throw shooting (82.2% playoffs, 92.3% reg. season). When he’s hot, he’s making shots from everywhere and he’ll have to use his quickness against the much more physical Smart. What makes this team scary is that Poole (18.4pppg, 39.3% 3pt playoffs) is nearly as good a shooter as Curry and Thompson. Wiggins (15.8ppg, 7rpg) has revived his career at Golden State as a role player who uses his athleticism to defend just about everyone on the court. Kevon Looney (6.1ppg, 7.7rpg) will have his hands full with Horford or Robert Williams, but he has shown he can rebound. He had huge games against Dallas, who did not have a center of Horford’s or Williams’ caliber. Then there’s Draymond Green (8.7ppg, 6.9rgp, 6.3apg). He’s not the offensive player that Smart is and he’ll have a chip on his shoulder since Smart was named Defensive Player of the Year. Green is the emotional leader of the team and will defend Tatum or Brown.

(odds from Draft Kings)

Series Leader (Total Points)

Stephen Curry +155

Series Total Games

6 Games +200

Series Winner

Boston +130

Boston has the number one defense in the NBA. They ranked first in three-point defense and in field goal defense during the regular season. They completely shut down Miami's offense aside from Jimmy Butler. This is a young team, but they are battle-tested and the more physical team. They are also fearless on the road and that's the key to winning a title as an underdog.

Series Correct Score

Boston 4-2 +370

Author Profile
Ben Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 35 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for nearly 30 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13! Ben has had great success in handicapping college football, the NFL, college basketball, the NBA and MLB for 27+ years. His Twitter handle is @BenHayesWAW