2022 NBA Finals Preview

The 75th season of the NBA is nearing its end, with the NBA Finals starting on Thursday. The Warriors, for the first time since their tough 2019 loss to the Warriors. Their 2022 Finals appearance will be their sixth trip to the Finals since 2015. This is the Boston Celtics’ first title series appearance since 2010 when they lost to Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.

Boston enters the Finals after beating the Nets, Bucks, and Heat, who each beat the Celtics during the last three postseasons. The Celtics were able to make this run despite a slow start to the season. Boston went .500 over the first 50 games of the season but won after 26 of their last 32 games, finishing the season with the best defensive rating in the League.

The Warriors beat the Nuggets, Grizzlies, and Mavericks during their run to the Finals. They finished the regular-season with a 53-29 record, good for third in the West. They’ve had a season of triumph with Stephen Curry breaking the all-time record for made three-pointers and creating the 3k club and the happy return of Klay Thompson following 942 days away from the hardwood.

They also had to deal with injuries to Curry and Green that almost knocked them off the top of the West, but the emergence of Jordan Poole and some timely big games from Thompson helped them stave off any trouble.

The regular-season series between the Warriors and Celtics ended in a 1-1 tie, with both teams winning their home games; Boston won the last matchup 110-88, but the Warriors were missing Andrew Wiggins, and Curry suffered a foot sprain that night that sidelined him until Game 1 of the first-round after colliding with Marcus Smart as the two fought for a loose ball.

Here, we take a look at these two powerhouse squads:

Can Golden State Solve Boston’s Defense?

Boston has the top-ranked defense remaining in the Finals and is designed to stop the chaotic motion offense of the Warriors. The Celtics’ ability to wear teams out physically and their switching makes them the best defense in the League.

On the other side, the Dubs are the top-ranked offense in the playoffs, scoring 116.1 points per game—up to four points from what they scored during the regular season. Will Golden State rely on their typical offensive actions against a defense that’s been excellent at stopping superstar scorers like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Giannis Antetokounmpo? We’ll have to find out and see.

Tatum Exploiting Mismatches

While Boston is equipped with a squad full of bucket-getters, one standout has been Jayson Tatum, who has hunted mismatches against the Warriors—whether it’s shooting over defenders or whipping the ball around so that Boston can attack Golden State when have a 4-on-3 advantage. As JT continues to step up as a playmaker, Boston has continued to thrive.

Coach Steve Kerr’s solution may be to mix different coverages against him, likely doubling, switching, and mixing in some zone looks like the Warriors used against Luka Doncic. Another question is if Derrick White, Smart, and Brown can continue to show out and knock down shots, including the ones Tatum helps create for them.


An x-factor for Golden State has been two-way play of Andrew Wiggins. As a member of the Warriors, Wiggins has emerged as an All-Star after thriving as a third option scorer. His shot creation, defensive versatility, and offensive rebound makes him indispensable players. Will Wiggins make the most of his opportunities against a physical defense that thrives at reducing ball movement and forcing some iso play?

Robert Williams is another x-factor for the C’s. The Time Lord’s shot-blocking at the rim and perimeter has been invaluable when he was healthy. On the offensive end, Williams is a primetime lob threat.