Oblivious is the word I would use to describe someone who does not already know which two teams will be competing against each other for a championship ring. If you are that oblivious, well, read the title again. The absolutely loaded Golden State Warriors will have minimal interference once again to reach the finals for a 5th consecutive year, especially after signing DeMarcus Cousins to a 1-year/$5.3 million dollar contract that absolutely stunned the basketball world. Representing the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals will be the star-studded, young-gunning, electric Boston Celtics. The Boston Celtics just came off a successful year just barely missing the finals after having four players out due to injury including Gordon Hayward, Kyrie Irving, Shane Larkin, and Daniel Theis. Permitting injury, the Boston Celtics will sail across smooth waters to the finals with the return of their all-stars and the absence of LeBron in the East along with the Philadelphia 76ers having a non-impactful offseason.
Shall we get into some analytical data now? I know data is either loved or hated, but in this instance since the two teams only play each other twice a year and also will not meet in the playoffs until the finals, it is important to have data to use to measure the two teams side by side.
Listed above are a few stats to compare side by side defensively and offensively. As you can see from the data it’s a story of two tales: One team being the best in the league defensively versus a team that is the best offensive team in the league. Now let’s take a look at last year’s season series against one another.
The series split 1-1 with notably Boston missing a key piece in Gordon Hayward in both games. Game one, the Boston Celtics held the Golden State Warriors to 88 points. 88 points. 88 points. Do you get it yet? 88 points. Game 2 Boston did lose but within a 4-point game and also holding GSW under their average rating of 113.6. Now let take a look at individual matchups.
Looking into the series we can only assume we will have a gritty matchup that can potentially go seven games deep which I believe any fan of the game would enjoy. If you are still oblivious, then you have not realized that I obviously believe the Boston Celtics have the potential to handle the back-to-back champs Golden State Warriors.
Kyrie Irving will absolutely give Steph Curry the works. If you believe the small statured Steph Curry can play defense against a more athletic and shifty PG then you are oblivious. Unlike Steph, Kyrie has the ability to share the ball more frequently and even have an opportunity of grabbing a rebound. Kyrie Irving can cook anyone in the league and most definitely Curry. Kyrie can shoot from wherever on the floor and has the ability to drive to the hoop without getting the ball smacked into the stands which is usually the outcome when Curry decides to take one to the hole.
Quick note on DeMarcus Cousins. Everyone is freaking out about Boogie signing with GSW, but according to multiple reports and Cousins, he will not be available to play due to his Achilles injury until possibly January or February which is right before the playoffs. Who is to say Cousins will even be the same or an impact at all. Having possibly one month to gel with a team that is already molded will be tougher than most fans tend to believe. I have all the respect for Boogie but, realistically thinking you have to take in the fact that one month into a season and then playoff time will be hard work for Steve Kerr to get Cousins worked into or even at worst Boogie will not be physically in shape to handle the pace of GSW after being out for over a year.
Kevin Durant is great. That is all I will say since he needs no introduction or analysis. KD is great.
Jayson Tatum on the other hand is molding into some monster that no one ever saw coming. During his rookie year, he showed to be one of the most clutch, poised, 19 year old man I’ve ever seen play. I honestly believe, and these aren’t just my heads talking, that Jayson Tatum will be a top 10 player to ever play the game. The guy is mixed with the blood of Kobe, the body of LeBron, (without the extra weight which according to reports has been putting on along with a significant increase in strength gained) and the mind of Albert Einstein, yeah, the one who created the theory of relativity. Jayson Tatum is a player to marvel at, and within the moment will play above all the greats including Kevin Durant. He dunked over 12 people this past season, and I can only see that increasing with notable players being on his poster including Joel Embiid, Karl-Anthony Towns, and The King which Tatum has dethroned, LeBron James. Jayson Tatum will be a force to be reckoned with in the NBA Finals with the possibility of being a 30+ Pts a night type of player.
Genius is the word that comes to mind when you think of Brad Stevens who was just snubbed the COTY award after leading his team of rookies and kids a few minutes away of the NBA Finals after missing two all-stars and two role players. Brad Stevens in the Finals will be equivalent to Bill Belichick in the Super Bowl. The man is brilliant including his style of play with entrusting his team to morph into a defensive unit of soldiers who will score on every single ATO.
All in all I believe that the teams have not changed much from the previous year after the signing of DeMarcus Cousins because I believe he will not be as much of a factor as he was in New Orleans. Boston was well suited to match-up with the Warriors and with players returning to full health the Boston Celtics have the jump on everyone besides Kevin Durant. The Boston Celtics defensively will rattle the Golden State Warriors defensively and players like Irving, Tatum, and Hayward will score 25+ points in each of these Finals games.
Just wait, the 2019 NBA Finals Matchup between Boston and Golden State will result with a game seven victory for Boston, adding another banner to TD Garden which already holds the single most banners held by any team in the history of NBA.