Warriors and Celtics strengths and weaknesses in the final chapter of the season

The Warriors and Celtics analysis of their strengths and weaknesses shows what can be done for each team in the NBA Finals.


After three rounds, excitement, surprises and more, the finals NBA they will arrive and put some players who know what it is like in the decision against an inexperienced team in the biggest stage of the tournament.

O Golden State Warriors, led by three-time champion trio Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, are making their sixth appearance in the final of the last eight seasons. O Boston Celtics, at the same time, it is here for the first time since 2010.

Despite each team’s attacking strength, this set will be a defensive clash for both sides. This is the first final since 1996 when the Chicago Bulls defeated the Seattle SuperSonics to bring together the two best teams in defensive efficiency.

Will Jayson Tatum continue to make the Hall of Fame of the Future in the playoffs? Will Curry finally get the NV Finals MVP? What are the key factors for each group?

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

Series statistics:

Basketball Power Index (BPI): 14% Offensive Rating: 112.1 (16.) Defensive Rating: 106.6 (2.)

How they got here:

For the first time since 2019 and for the sixth time in the last eight seasons, the Warriors are back in the NBA Finals.

But, unlike the hegemonic phase that lasted from 2014 to 2019, this trip to the finals was not a walk. Just two years ago, the Warriors had the worst NBA record. Last year, they lost the playoffs after losing in the play-offs.

Klay Thompson missed the first half of this season recovering from an Achilles tendon injury and made his debut in January after 941 days out of action due to a previous cruciate ligament injury from a previous cruciate ligament injury. But on the day he returned, Draymond Green injured his back. Green returned two months later, but in a single game, Stephen Curry injured his foot and missed the final month of the regular season.

Despite problems with the trio, the growth of Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins and Kevon Looney allowed the Warriors to stay in the top three in the Western Conference. In the playoffs, the Warriors were instrumental in getting the Warriors back on the biggest stage in the NBA.

Decisive Factor: The Health of Gary Payton II

The Warriors barely played with a completely healthy roster during the season. Andre Iguodala has lost the entire season so far with a neck injury. Otto Porter Jr. he lost three games. Gary Payton II is out of phase two. The good thing about the team is that all of the injured could return to training this week and be relevant to the Warriors ’title hopes. Especially Payton.

He has appeared as a defender this season. Initially, he was scoring the best opposing players, whether he was a winger or a midfielder, in the regular season and playoffs with the Denver Nuggets team’s Nikola Jokic. Also, the way Payton improved on offense gave Steve Kerr more minutes.

Payton’s performance earned him a spot in the Western Conference finals before breaking his elbow with Dillon Brooks of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Payton’s defense will be crucial for the Warriors in the semifinals if he ever manages to play again. Although Golden State is known for its attack, the team is constantly counting on how its defense starts to score points. Being in Payton’s painting gives the team more opportunities when it comes to making it easy.

Prior to the injury, Payton averaged 6.17 points in 72.7% of field goals, 3.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 15.9 minutes of the game in the playoffs.

The biggest vulnerability: loss of ownership

Reaching the conference finals, Ker jokingly said he wasn’t talking about his team’s balance sheets, which has been his problem for the past eight years. He no longer has to tell his players that they need to prevent this from happening.

Once again, turnovers have been the heels of the Warriors ’Achilles heel this offseason. Golden State has 14.8 turnovers in the playoffs (fifth of 16 postseason games) and 15.9 points per game. It may not sound very bad at first, but so far when you see the Warriors’ victories and losses, it’s much more telling.

In the Warriors’ four playoffs, they averaged 16.3 points with 20.8 points, the third-highest loss after the season. In the victories, this number has been reduced to 14.2 in turnover, which has reached 14.3 points (the top 10 in both categories).

The Warriors know that with a fast-paced style of play that has a lot of ball movement, turns will happen. Those that are centered on the fall are those that occur after blurry or irresponsible passes.

If Steve Kerr’s team reduces their turnovers, it will be much harder to win. And if they are defeated, it will not be because they have given the ball to the opponent.

FIVE CELTS

Series statistics:

BPI: 86% Offensive rating: 113.6 (9) Defensive rating: 106.2 (1)

How they got here:

In the most anticipated game of the first phase, perhaps, the Celtics played against the Brooklyn Nets, in seventh place. Potentially, the series could have seven games, with dynamic pairs Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum taking on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Instead, Boston did a quick job against the Nets, taking the New York team home.

Boston went on to win seven exciting games in the conference finals and the conference finals. After falling 3-2 behind the Milwaukee Bucks, the Celtics responded by winning from behind to reach the conference finals with full force.

Against the Miami Heat, the Celtics trailed 2-1 but returned to the top 3-2 in Game 6. Miami defeated the Celtics after an epic performance by Jimmy Butler to reach Game 7 in South Beach.

There, the Celtics delivered their final blow, and they advanced to the 22nd NBA Finals in franchise history in search of their 18th NBA championship title.

Decisive factor: Finally, a little rest

The Celtics’ most important moment before the NBA Finals could be a three-day break between the 7th game against the Heat and the 1st game in the Finals.

Boston overcame two hard-fought series against the Bucks and Heat, playing every two days since May 7, after a three-day break after their 2nd game in Milwaukee.

Marcus Smart dealt with a quadriceps injury and a sprained ankle in the final. Robert Williams III was sidelined in April after undergoing surgery on his right meniscus and suffered a knee injury to Giannis Antetokounmpo in his 3rd game against the Bucks.

Tatum had more than 41 minutes in the final two sets of the game. Brown and Al Horford are both over 38 years old in the match. All three had at least 44 minutes in the 7th game against the Heat. Simply put, the Celtics will have a good day’s rest.

Golden State, however, has not played 7 games this postseason and has sent the Dallas Mavericks into five games. The Warriors will have a one-week break between games when the final begins on Thursday night.

Weakness: Are the lights too bright?

Boston’s post-season collective experience was evident in several games in the final two phases.

They had crucial moments in the games (defined by the NBA as a break in the last five minutes or a difference of less than five points in extra time) to go 4-0 against the Brooklyn Nets, which Boston won 2-4 in such games. Bucks and Heat. One such game was Sunday’s 7th game, when an empty 3-point shot from Jimmy Butler could have resulted in a historic defeat.

The Celtics had post-season success when they were able to take great advantage and hold on to the opponents who had the best defense in the league.

This Celtics team enters the Finals with zero game experience, while Golden State has 123. According to ESPN Stats & Information, this is only the third final in NBA history, with one team having more than 100 games and the other. the band had zero, and for the first time since 1997 (Bulls 134, Utah Jazz 0).

If the Celtics want a title, they will have to make sure that their lack of experience in the semi-finals does not make them incapacitated during the ‘H’ season.

The main factor in the series is how Golden State will handle the often-changing defense of brands

Golden State managed to reach the NBA Finals without facing a team that likes to change the lineup. Of the Western Warriors ’three opponents (Denver, Memphis or Dallas) he was not in the midfield of the league in defensive trading frequency on a regular basis, according to a follow-up by Second Spectrum. And while the Mavericks, in particular, began to negotiate more during the bout against the Warriors, Golden State remains ninth out of the 16 teams that played in the playoffs in terms of how often their opponents traded against them (31.5% of the time). in the playoffs, according to the Second Spectrum.

That is about to change. No other team has traded more often than the Celtics in the regular season, and in terms of frequency (44%) they have ranked second so far in the playoffs.

Theoretically, trading can make it harder for the Warriors to attack in the way they prefer. Think of how the Houston Rockets sometimes defeated Golden State in the 2018 conference finals, keeping the game for 4th and 5th in a row below 95 points. The Warriors had a total of 32 assists in those games, which is a slight increase. the average of the previous round game against the New Orleans Pelicans (30.8).

Unlike in 2018, Golden State no longer has to deal with imbalances against a defense that many players like Kevin Durant negotiate. However, the Warriors struggled often enough after the season to develop a repertoire of options against these tactics, ranging from Curry’s ability to move the ball and Green’s ability to fix defensive errors.

These features were on the court when Golden State won against Dallas, which in the 5th game traded 63% of the Warriors ’games according to the Second Spectrum, the most the Warriors have played in the playoffs. That didn’t stop them from providing 36 assists, the second in a game in those playoffs. Curry and Green each had nine.

At the same time, Golden State achieved that in the regular season and in the playoffs against a team that barely exchanged. Now, the Warriors will face a defense that does very well, doing so from a position of strength rather than weakness. The final result will be decided by how well they manage their profession.

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