Taking a 92-80 lead into the 4th quarter, all was on schedule for the Warriors to pick up Game 1 in search of their next notch on their dynasty belt. Then, all hell broke loose, as the Celtics picked up 40 in the 4th to run away with the win.
Let’s take a closer how things might shake out in Game 2.
The first team in NBA history to trail a game in the finals by more than 10 heading into the fourth and go on to win by 10, the Celtics’ confidence is at an all-time high heading into a Game 2 at the Chase Center. Boston faithful can also point to the fact that their leading scorer this season, Jayson Tatum, was held to a pedestrian 12 points on the evening as his teammates went off around him.
Grizzled veteran Al Horford led all Celtics scorers with 26, as Jaylen Brown contributed another 24 including big shots to start the fourth that sparked their run. Derrick White, who scored 21 coming off the bench, was perhaps the biggest difference-maker, as he led the team in +/- at +25 on the evening.
Golden State Warriors
Steph Curry did Steph Curry things in Game 1, scoring 34 points on 7 of 14 from three-point range. While it was a complete team breakdown late, the players around him failed to pick up their end of the bargain. With just one other player (Andrew Wiggins) scoring more than 15 points, Klay Thompson needs to get going if the Warriors want any chance to take this series 1-1 back to Boston.
The Warriors will also be in an unfamiliar spot during the Steve Kerr era. In their previous 24 playoff series, the Warriors have won Game 1 on 22 different occasions. Kerr and the Warriors will also have to consider the roles of Otto Porter Jr. and Andrew Iguodala, who played for the first time in months following long injury layoffs.
Prediction and Best Bet
While I would normally say the addition of Porter Jr. and Iguodala into a lineup that has been meshing flawlessly this postseason was the issue, this was still a team that was gelling for more than 80% of this game. It wasn’t just the role players who collapsed late either, as Curry scored 21 of a game-high 34 in the first quarter.
In this game, I like a veteran Warriors team to come in re-focused and take care of business, making the proper adjustments behind one of the best staff in the NBA.
Pick: Warriors -4
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