Stories that get a lot of headlines from the 2022 NBA Finals are: Stephen Curry Shine; Jillian Brown’s Juice and Robert Williams III’s Internal Fear; The redemption of Andrew Wiggins and the return of #StrengthInNumbers. The biggest story of this finale, however, is the Celtics’ Jason Tatum-led offense — his form, his actions and, increasingly, his fracturing, especially late in the game.
The Celtics won Game 1 after a fourth-quarter avalanche — shortening, keeping a gap in the floor, and burying the Warriors with a 3-point barrage. Since then, however, Boston has not been able to produce a consistent offense late in the game, failing to score 25 points in the fourth quarter of Game 2 to 5 and only 95.6 points per 100 assets in the last four final frames — Offensive level inaccuracies match mid-process sixes. These struggles have pushed the Eastern Conference champions to the brink of homecoming for Game 6 on Thursday, possibly 48 minutes away from the end of their season.
“Our backs are against the wall,” Celtics big man Al Horford said after Game 5 on Monday. “It’s time to dump her and move on. We have the opportunity now. It should be taken out. Not tomorrow for us. ”
The Boston defense, the NBA’s best performance in the regular season, performed as advertised in the championship round. With the exception of the Game 2 attack that prevented Curry & Co. from going down 0-2 at home, the Celtics have largely wrapped up the Warriors, giving them just 93.9 points per 100 plays at half-court, according to Cleaning; He will be ranked 21st in the league this season.
That Meat-Grinder half-court defense — switching off-ball screens, Golden State’s split actions and backdoor cuts, removing airspace and forcing Curry to be superhuman to create points दिली has given the Celtics every chance to win. Games in this series. The point, as always, is their ability to keep the game on the half-court: Boston reversed 17.2 percent of their offensive assets in the final and gave up 20.6 points per game from that cough. Which would have come close to the worst score in the NBA in the regular season.
C’s bias towards live-ball turnover लॉ lollipop entries, jump-with-no-plan kickouts, daring attempts to thread needles into traffic — are particularly detrimental. Golden State has 49 steals in five games and has scored nearly 1.5 points in each game attacking those steals, with Boston’s mistakes regularly turning into layups or draw fouls:
Boston finished Game 5 with 18 turnovers पाच Brown five, Tatum and Marcus Smart four each. They won 22 Warriors points and Golden State, continuing the clearest pattern and the clearest statistical bell ringing of this post season: the Celtics are now 1-7 when they spin the ball 16 or more times in this playoff and 13-2 when they don’t.
Tatum told reporters after Game 5, “It’s hard to beat when we don’t turn the ball over. “Obviously, when we turn the ball over, it’s easier for us to beat.”
Well, maybe not easy, but easy – and even more insecure when it comes to combining turnover with shots that can count on the same in a box score.
When a Celtic Pell-Mail drive misses the paint or a lay-up on a catch-and-shoot jumper from a corner, a quiet headache occurs and the Golden State can catch a defensive reflex. Dubs has found opportunities to overcome those mistakes, especially when the two Celtics are below the free throw line and Boston’s floor balance is off. They’ve found salary dirt there, especially late: Golden State averaged 1.12 points per possession that started with defensive rebounds in 4 and 5 games, according to the unpredictable, a dramatic increase from the first three contests and a big help to the offensive wave in their favor.