Preview of the NBA Finals


Anthony Malta, News Editor

It feels like Golden State Warriors superstar Steph Curry is always pictured on a promotional graphic for the NBA Finals. 


Probably because he is.


Curry and his Warriors are making their sixth Finals berth in the last eight years in 2022, matched up against a young Boston Celtics team with much to prove. 


Go back in time to December 31, 2021. The Boston Celtics have a losing record right before the New Year and chatter around the league suggests that Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, one of the best young duos in the NBA, will be split up via trade. 


An anonymous Eastern Conference executive spoke on the matter around that dark time for Boston fans, five months ago. 


“[Brown and Tatum] have looked like players that legitimately don’t enjoy each other’s success, and it’s been like that for years. The fact that it’s still rearing its head is not surprising in that regard.”


January 31, 2022. 


Jaylen Brown, the Celtics’ “1B” option (to Tatum’s 1A), posts a tweet that reads, “The energy is about to shift.” Boston was two games above .500 (27-25). 


May 31 2022. 


The Boston Celtics are packing their bags in preparation for a plane to San Francisco to face the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. Led by First Team All-NBA forward Jayson Tatum, All-Star Jaylen Brown and Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart, the Celtics finished the regular season as the two-seed in the Eastern Conference. 


Aside from that timeline and the Celtics’ incredible turnaround, four more games have to be won to bring home the trophy– against the Warriors, who have won it, and recently


Does it matter that Boston brings arguably the best defense in the NBA? Sure, but Steph Curry is unguardable when he can shoot from seemingly anywhere on the court and splash it (hence the nickname the Splash Bros). Klay Thompson, Curry’s sharpshooting counterpart, cannot be an afterthought either even though he missed the entirety of last season due to injury. 


Golden State’s supporting cast is among the best in the league. Jordan Poole, a breakout player who shone in the absence of Curry, flashes constant signs of stardom on offense. Alongside him is Andrew Wiggins, former number one overall pick who was deemed a “bust” before he found his role on the Warriors. 


And of course, Draymond Green. The veteran forward has been the X-factor for the Warriors for years, and found his rhythm this season as a versatile defender and “glue-guy”. Green knows how to guard players of all sizes and will likely be matched up against 24-year-old superstar Jayson Tatum. Whether or not Tatum can get the best of Green’s experience will be seen, but the Celtics star has produced against defensive masterminds Giannis Antetokoumpo and Jimmy Butler in previous playoff rounds. 


The Warriors have the edge in experience– there’s no doubt about that one. However, the Celtics are coming off of two seven-game series against the Milwaukee Bucks, last year’s champs and the scrappy Miami Heat. Both teams were considered by many to be championship contenders and post tremendous all around play styles that were viewed as unstoppable. 


A common factor? Both were bested by Boston. 


Not to mention, the Celtics swept the Brooklyn Nets in the first round, a team led by some of the NBA’s best in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. 


The Warriors and Celtics are two tenacious teams and viewers are guaranteed to see a bloodbath of a series. Golden State presents veteran leadership and experience, upheld by young, emerging players. Boston leads their charge with aggressive defense, a youthful spark plug and a chance at their first Finals win since 2008.