The 2021/22 NBA Finals have rolled into full fruition and have already provided sports fans with a multitude of sublime basketball action that leaves many to question on which of the prestigious franchises, Golden State Warriors or Boston Celtics, will lay claim to another coveted Larry O’Brien championship trophy.
The Celtics and Warriors are amongst the NBA’s most prestigious franchises and have since become global names following on from their numerous years of dominance atop of the NBA winning column.
With 17 total World Championships, the Boston Celtics are one of the most recognizable and vastly successful sporting organizations in any major North American sporting division after their lengthy spells of dominance over the league throughout the dawning years of the NBA and arguably the golden generation of basketball during the 1980s.
The Warriors also lay claim to a vast number of World Champions and after an early spell of dominance after the NBA/ABA merger, the Warriors have since established themselves as one of sports most successful dynasties after years of dominance from 2015 to present day.
It seems only fitting that the NBA’s celebratory 75th anniversary season will culminate in a showdown between two of sports most respected basketball franchises to decide on who will lift another coveted championship banner to the rafters, and given what we’ve witnessed so far, the 2023 Finals are already proving to be an unmissable event.
2023 NBA Finals story so far:
After the Celtics squeezed out a game one win in San Francisco, the Warriors hit back with a rejuvenating result on their home court before heading East towards Massachusetts.
A packed TD Garden witnessed the Celtics clinch a decisive game three victory which left Boston in the running to claim a record 18th championship in as little as five games.
However, a tremendous 4th quarter showing by the Warriors in game four, helped steer the tide back to a neutral outcome as the two teams will now head back to California for a game five encounter before what could ultimately be the decisive game six back in Boston.
Should the series still remain at a tie, a conclusive game seven will be required back in San Francisco to decide on which prestigious franchise will walk away with the Larry O’Brien championship trophy.
Following on from the Warriors win in game four, the latest NBA finals betting odds stand at +320 for a Warriors win in six games and +185 in seven. The Celtics also remain lively with odds as high as +290 for a win in six and +330 should the series go to the deciding game seven.
The Celtics have quickly risen as one of the NBA’s dark horse teams towards the end of the 2021/22 regular season and have already showcased their sublime two-way play with clinical offense and suffocating defensive plays that as such has allowed the Celtics to sweep past the heavily favored Brooklyn Nets, reigning champions Milwaukee Bucks and the cagey Miami Heat enroute to their first NBA Finals appearance since 2010.
Following on from the long-term injuries to Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, the Warriors are back at the top of the Western Conference and have swiftly beaten all major challengers including MVP Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets, rising starlets in the Memphis Grizzlies and the former champions Dallas Mavericks to ensure that the Dubs will be making their sixth trip to the Finals in just eight years.
Who have been the standout performers in the Finals so far:
Both teams inherit some of the best overall rosters available in the NBA today featuring superstar caliber talent and a great amount of depth in capable role players.
This year’s finals have been mainly captivated by the sublime displays of Stephen Curry who is looking to win his first NBA Finals MVP and potentially overlap the legendary Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson as the greatest point guard in NBA history.
While on the other end of the spectrum, long-time Warriors Forward Draymond Green has been undoubtedly the worst individual performer so far in the finals with abysmal averages of 4.3 points on an abhorrent shooting display of 23% from the field from the former defensive player of the year and multiple time All-Star.
In the Celtics camp, it remains a close contest between co-stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum on who has been the overall better performer, with Brown putting up respectable numbers in the scoring column and on the defensive end, while Tatum has suffered a few struggles when shooting the ball due to a shoulder injury he has been dealt with since the Conference Finals series against Miami.
However, Tatum has showcased his elegant playmaking and elite passing skills alongside the likes of Al Horford and Robert Williams III who have also played integral roles in the Celtics two wins in the series thus far.
With the 2023 NBA Finals now in full throttle heading into the conclusive week of the postseason, it remains unclear on which team will lift this year’s World Championship trophy with Games 5 and 6 being must-see games to decide whether there will be a win or go home Game 7.