Warriors vs Celtics: Five NBA Finals games to watch, including Stephen Curry on both ends of the floor

The 2022 NBA Finals will feature two teams with elite defenses. During the regular season, Boston Celtics He has the best defensive rating in the league, and Golden State Warriors They were right behind them in second place. In addition to the dominant defense, both teams are very deep and very well trained. The series will also show that there is no shortage of star power. In addition to the Golden State trio of Stephen Curry, Clay Thompson and Draymond Green, Boston boasts its own powerhouse trio of Jason Tatum, Jaylen Brown and defensive player of the year Marcus Smart.

The series promises to be entertaining, and a fitting end to what has been an eventful season in the NBA. Here’s a look at five major confrontations heading into the battle between Boston and the Golden State.

1. Marcus Smart vs. Steve Curry

This one writes itself. Marcus Smart’s Defensive Player of the Year faces one of the most lethal offensive weapons the league has seen in Steve Curry. Both men are point guards, so Smart must spend a significant amount of time trying to contain Carrie. He will certainly get some help in the form of switches, traps, double teams, etc., but the main task will most likely fall on Smart.

When it comes to Curry, there’s no such thing as turning it off, so Smart’s job will be to make life difficult for Curry, and make sure he doesn’t get too many clean looks. This is obviously easier said than done, but if anyone is up to the task, they are stubborn smarts. How well he can defend Carrie can go a long way toward determining who will ultimately win the series.

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2. Andrew Wiggins vs. Jason Tatum

Andrew Wiggins has been tasked with being Luka Doncic’s primary defender during the Western Conference Finals against the Mavericks, and in the NBA Finals he will likely have another very challenging assignment in the form of Jason Tatum. Tatum helps those around him, but he is the core of Boston’s attack and his ability to produce points is central to Boston’s success.

Just like Smart will get help on Curry, Wiggins will probably get help on Tatum on occasion, but will probably do a lot of the heavy lifting. Wiggins’ height and athletic height make him an ideal defender for a player like Tatum, who is himself both tall and athletic. It wouldn’t be particularly surprising to see Steve Kerr match Wiggins’ minutes to Tatum to some degree, especially if he’s been able to find some early success.

3. Steve Kerr vs. Amy Odoka

A side chess match between coaches is always one of the most interesting events before the finals, and this season is no different. The difference in experience between Steve Kerr and Amy Odoka is astounding. Kerr trains for his sixth NBA Finals, which Golden State hit five consecutive years, from 2015 to 2019. He coached in 121 playoff games and won 89 of them.

On the other hand, Odoka is training in his first World Cup as a junior coach, and he only has 16 games of post-season coaching experience under his belt. It will be very interesting to see how this variance of experience is exemplified over the course of the series, and how important it is.

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4. Klay Thompson vs. Jaylen Brown

As firing rangers on their teams, Jaylen Brown and Klay Thompson will likely spend a significant amount of time guarding each other, and their confrontation will be significant, as both are relied upon to provide additional scoring for their teams. Brown is Boston’s secondary offensive choice behind Tatum, and Thompson plays that role for Golden State, along with reserve guard Jordan Bull.

With so much attention being directed at Curry and Tatum, these secondary scorers can rock the entire series with a couple of good—or bad—plays.

5. Boston vs. Steve Carey

We already know what Steve Curry will bring on the offensive end to Golden State in the Finals, but he will have to put him on the defensive end as well. Like Brad Botkin, CBS Sports He mentioned in his last article, the Celtics will likely fish Curry on the defensive end throughout the series. While the Celtics don’t really have a weakness for the Warriors to target at the defensive end, Curry will have a weak spot on his back when Boston has the ball.

Although Curry has improved on the defensive side over the course of his career, he is still far from the elite, and Boston will be looking to exploit that. They’ll try to get bigger, more athletic players like Tatum and Brown isolated from Curry, and he’ll be tasked with keeping himself. Plus, by constantly going to Curry, the Celtics hope to tire him out so he has less energy to hurt them on the offensive end. Golden State should hope that Curry will rise to the task defensively.

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