And there we have it… The 2021-22 NBA season is in the books and the last chapter is dedicated to the Golden State Warriors following their Game 6 win over the Boston Celtics.
The Boston Celtics exceeded expectations to reach the NBA Finals, but as most then expected, the Golden State Warriors ended up with the trophy. After trailing the series 1-0 and 2-1, the Warriors won the NBA Finals with a 103-90 win in Game 6.
It sucks how it ended, but the Celtics were under .500 on January 21.
They made it to June 16 and Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
I'll take it.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) June 17, 2022
Heading into Boston with a 3-2 lead and the opportunity to seal the deal, the Warriors hardly fired from the start. A double-digit Celtics lead had the Garden pumping with a few fans in the stands surely thinking ahead to Game 7. However, those that are familiar with the Warriors know better than to assume any lead is safe. They pulled out to a five-point lead by the end of the quarter. At one stage in the second, Curry and the Warriors built up a 21-point lead.
Curry – as he did for most of the series – led the way for the Warriors with 34 points on 12-21 shooting. Andrew Wiggins chimed in with 18 points while Draymond Green added 12 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. But it was ultimately the Warriors’ defence that sealed the deal.
Steph Curry broke Boston Celtics defense and that might be one of the greatest NBA Finals performances ever.
— Adel🇾🇪ابوقصي (@__adel22) June 17, 2022
The Celtics averaged 114.4 points per 100 possessions throughout the 2021-22 NBA season to be one of the best offensive teams in the league. However, they managed only 97.9 points per 100 possessions across their last three games as the Warriors turned the screws. The Celtics, as well as they played this year, didn’t have an answer.
Curry Cements His Legacy
There is a section in NBA fandom that enjoys diminishing the accomplishments of the greatest players in the game but they’ll be having a tough week when it comes to Steph Curry.
Dominant in four of the five games throughout the series, Curry picked up his first NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award. In doing so, he became the first point guard since Tony Parker in 2007 to lift the trophy.
Stephen Curry is the ONLY player in NBA History to average over 30ppg in the NBA Finals with less than 5 FTA (4.7) per game.
No superstar treatment, no problem. pic.twitter.com/zYYDUbMdWH
— WarriorsMuse (@WarriorsMuse) June 19, 2022
Curry stuffed the stats sheet. He averaged 31.2 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals in 37.6 minutes per game. The greatest shooter of all time hit 53% of his two-point shots and 47.7% of those from beyond the arc too. And those are just the counting stats. His movement off the ball, the gravity he holds over a defence, the daggers from long range that cut to the hearts of the Celtics and their hopes of a comeback throughout the series.
Curry completed one of the great NBA Finals series to win his fourth championship and cement himself as one of the greatest players of all time. Perhaps the greatest point guard of all time when it’s all said and done.
2022-23 NBA Championship Odds
Unsurprisingly, the Warriors are the favourites to run it back and win it all again next season. The Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks, meanwhile, can’t be split as the top chances in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.
The Celtics are on the fourth line of betting at $8.25. Plenty will say that this team will only get better following their NBA Finals performance, but plenty said the same about the Phoenix Suns last season and they’re down to $10.50. A lot needs to go right and the element of the unknown makes them difficult to get behind, but the LA Clippers at $8.75 is an interesting prospect. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers are way out at $26 with Russell Westbrook still on the roster and expected to be there to start next season.
NBA Championship Odds
Hornets Still Hunting
Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Kenny Atkinson had agreed to a four-year deal to coach the Charlotte Hornets last week. He doesn’t get much wrong – if anything. It’s safe to assume that Atkinson had, in fact, agreed but he has since changed his mind. Perhaps his Warriors winning the NBA Finals and the celebrations that followed had something to do with that decision.
ESPN Sources: Kenny Atkinson has decided he won’t become the Charlotte Hornets’ head coach and will remain with Golden State as top assistant. After being offered job during the NBA Finals, further conversations led Atkinson to believe it would be best to remain with Warriors.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 18, 2022