NBA Finals Recap and Game 5 Preview
It’s 2-2! Who’d have imagined the NBA Finals would be this entertaining, but it’s mad to think that we only have two, maybe three, more games to go. Now’s the time to tune in even if you’re just a casual basketball fan. Let’s break down what’s been happening in the Finals.
Latest NBA playoff news
- Warriors level series 2-2 after statement win helped by Curry’s 43 points
- NBA Finals heads back to Golden State for Game 5
- Hornets hire Kenny Atkinson as head coach
- Zion happy to stay in New Orleans for basketball future
Curry Plays His Greatest Finals Contest For Epic Game 4 Win
At the end of Game 3, the Celtics looked in control after a huge victory and Curry looked questionable for the next matchup after hurting his ankle diving for the ball. It appeared as if the entire world was holding its breath waiting to see if Curry would play.
Well, all that went out of the window, as Curry played arguably the game of his career, scoring 43 points and helping his Warriors defeat the Celtics in Game 4, 107-97.
No matter what the Celtics threw at him, Steph just couldn’t be stopped and scored from everywhere on the court. He was also pretty darn efficient, too, scoring his 43 from 14-26 shooting (7-14 from the arc) and adding 10 rebounds and four assists. This was the game the Warriors needed to stay in the NBA Finals, and Curry fought tooth and nail to get it.
The thing is, the Celtics looked like they could take a 3-1 lead in the series, as they dominated for much of the game, but a trademark fourth quarter collapse (28-19 in favor of Golden State) meant that the Warriors took them to town and blew the game wide open.
Boston had a four-point lead with only around five minutes remaining, but a 10-0 Golden State run put the game out of reach and left the Celtics scratching their heads again. How can this keep happening to Boston? Rushed shots, bad passes, and poor communication on defense, as usual.
It wasn’t all Steph, mind you, as Andrew Wiggins proved he has been probably the second-best Warrior in the playoffs, as the former No.1 pick scored 17 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the victory. Klay Thompson (18) and Jordan Poole (14) were also useful in their moments on the court, although it was a different story for Draymond Green.
Green is a stalwart defender, fantastic passer, and a great rebounder, but on this night he just didn’t have it going offensively with only two points. For this reason, Warriors coach Steve Kerr decided to keep Green out of the game for most of the fourth quarter in order to prioritize offense and a high-scoring punch. Green, obviously, didn’t take kindly to the choice but respected Kerr’s decision.
As for the Celtics’ two stars, Tatum and Brown, more effort is needed if Boston is to take down this Warriors juggernaut. Tatum scored 23 points while Brown picked up 21, but what was most disconcerting is just how both seemed to fade in the last quarter. Tatum alone scored just two points in the fourth, which just won’t cut it in the NBA Finals.
There is a slight injury worry for the Celtics, as it appeared as if Robert Williams again tweaked the knee he had surgery on at the start of the playoffs. But all reports suggest he’ll be okay for Game 5, which is great news for Boston fans, as Time Lord’s shot blocking and rebounding is a must-have to stop the Warriors’ offense.
Whatever happens in Game 5, this has been one of the most exciting Finals we’ve seen for a long time. Both teams are full of star power but everything is balanced well for highlight plays on both ends of the floor. Regardless of whether it’s a win for the Celtics or Warriors, these Finals have been a victory for the NBA.
5 takeaways from Game 4 of Boston vs. Golden State
- Steph shrugs off foot pain and proves he can play through anything
- Tatum and Brown disappear in the fourth quarter
- Draymond is no threat offensively but still an amazing team player
- Celtics’ turnover monster rears its ugly head again
- Can’t fake championship experience… Warriors know how to get it done
What we’re excited to see from both teams in Game 5
Now that Game 5 of the 2022 NBA Finals will head back to San Francisco, we can’t wait to see how the Warriors and Celtics will react with the series at 2-2. Here’s what we’re looking forward to watching when tip-off begins.
Superstars come out to shine
Jayson Tatum keeps assuring fans that he’ll play better, well, now’s the chance to do it. It’s easy to forget that the guy is only 24 years old, but with such incredible basketball talent, it’s frustrating to watch him make constant mistakes and also not take over the way Curry or even Jimmy Butler have done in the playoffs.
The Celtics have reached the playoffs with incredible performances from everyone on the roster, but there have been inexplicable losses along the way (and a lot of close wins that should have been comfortable). Tatum’s 46-point heroic effort to defeat the Bucks in Game 6 of the second-round playoffs is the stuff of legend, but that makes us wonder why he’s not doing this more often.
Steph will undoubtedly be Steph, so we’re not worried about him. It will be interesting to see if Curry can go for 40 points again, but something tells us he’s got at least one more of these left in him.
Help from unlikely places
There have been several standout games from some of the more unlikely players on both teams’ rosters throughout the NBA playoffs. We’ve had incredible performances to help swing games from the likes of Boston’s Grant Williams, Al Horford, and Derrick White, as well as Golden State’s Kevon Looney and Jordan Poole.
So, who will have a surprise career game this time around? You’re always going to need someone unexpected to step up when things get tough, and nothing gets tougher than the pivotal Game 5. It feels like we’re ready for another vintage Al Horford game, as here’s a guy who has played in the league for over 15 years and can’t let a championship possibility slip away easily.
Will the home crowd make a difference?
In the 2022 NBA Finals, the home team has only won once so far. Whether it’s players wanting to hush up the opposing crowd and make a statement, many athletes often perform better on the road.
There’s something awesome about hitting a three-pointer and enjoying the villain part of a road game, as opposed to the worship of being the hero in a home game. The Celtics tend to come out strong in a loss, especially when their next game is away, so we anticipate a laser-focused team when Game 5 begins.
Expect defensive effort to ramp up
You just can’t lapse for one second on defense against either of these teams. The Celtics and Warriors are regarded as the best defensive squads in the league, but despite that, we’ve had high-scoring games and a lot of fantastic offensive moments along the way.
With the series tied 2-2, it’s perhaps time for offense to take a back seat and for every player to give their all on the defensive end. Game 5 could very well be the lowest-scoring matchup so far, as the focus will be preventing buckets rather than making them.
Defensive Player of the Year, Marcus Smart, needs to show everyone why he earned the award this season. If anyone can slow down Curry, it will be him, but he’s going to be switched off Steph from screens a great deal, so everyone in a Boston uniform must be putting in the same determination.
Which team will win Game 5?
If we look at the way the Celtics have bounced back from losses in the past, it feels like Game 5 will be yet another Boston win. They will correct errors made in previous matchups and come out with an intensity to match the Warriors on their home court. It will be intense, make no mistake, but it will be very enjoyable.
Author: Joe Garland