2022 NBA Finals Preview
The Boston Celtics are hoping to break their tie with the Los Angeles Lakers as the most successful team in the history of the NBA. Boston and Los Angeles have both won 17 NBA titles, as the Lakers tied the Celtics for the most all-time titles with their championship in 2020. The Celtics are certainly the more storied franchise in the 2022 NBA Finals, but they are underdogs by the NBA betting odds against the Golden State Warriors. Golden State has now won the Western Conference in six of the last eight seasons, and the Warriors have gone on to win the title three times.
The 2022 NBA Finals will run from June 2-19. There will be two days off in between most games as this is a cross-country series.
2022 NBA Finals Betting Odds at BetOnline
Boston Celtics +135
Golden State Warriors -155
Golden State made quick work of Dallas in the Western Conference Finals and has had plenty of time to rest. The Warriors will have had a full week off prior to the start of the NBA Finals on Thursday, allowing their veterans to get some much-needed time off.
This is Steph Curry’s team. The all-time leader in three-point field goals is averaging 25.9 PPG this postseason. He is knocking down 38% of his threes in these playoffs, and he remains extremely dangerous with a sliver of room. However, Curry is not as efficient as he was a few years ago, and his free throw shooting has taken a hit too. Additionally, he has struggled against Boston over the course of his career.
Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole have been excellent perimeter shooters too. Thompson can no longer shake defenders like he could before two major injuries, but he is making 39.9% of his threes and averaging 19.8 PPG. Poole has been superb as the third option, making 39.3% of his treys and averaging 18.4 PPG.
There are a couple X-Factors in this series for Golden State. Andrew Wiggins is the most important one, as he showcased enough to make his first All-Star Game this season. Wiggins can still disappear for long stretches though, and the Warriors can’t afford that against a solid Celtics squad. Jonathan Kuminga will be important off the bench too, as Draymond Green gets in foul trouble and is no longer at the peak of his powers.
Health is key for the Celtics in this series. Robert Williams III and Marcus Smart are both dealing with injuries, and Boston needs both players as close to 100% as possible. Williams is dominant on the defensive end as an undersized center, while Smart is the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year. The extra time off in between games will help both players, and that gives Boston a good chance of winning this series.
Jayson Tatum is the star of the Celtics, and the team has relied on him heavily throughout this postseason. Tatum is averaging 27.0 PPG, 6.7 RPG, and 5.9 APG, taking his game to another level over the last few months. He largely makes good decisions with the ball, and he is the one player on the Celtics that can usually get his own shot.
Second-leading scorer Jaylen Brown has had a lot of success in these playoffs, averaging 22.9 PPG, 6.8 RPG, and 3.5 APG. Brown is a solid defender, but he is surprisingly subpar with the ball in his hands for a guard. Golden State has a team full of veterans that can punish him if he gets careless with the ball.
If Williams and Smart are at 90% or better, the Celtics will be in a great position to pull off the upset. The health of those two players is huge though, and that is arguably the most important factor entering the NBA Finals.