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NBA Finals Preview: Boston Celtics vs. Golden State Warriors

Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Finals begin on Thursday June 2 as the Boston Celtics take on the Golden State Warriors. Series prices via PointsBet.

Boston Celtics (+125) vs. Golden State Warriors (-150)

The Celtics are back in the Finals for the first time since 2010 when they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games, while the Warriors return to the Finals for the first time since losing to the Toronto Raptors in 2019.

Both teams had up-and-down regular seasons. The Warriors began the season playing excellent basketball and then slowed down after the New Year largely in part due to injuries. Meanwhile, the Celtics began the season looking like they would miss the playoffs, but started absolutely rolling once the calendar turned to January.

These teams faced each other twice during the regular season with each team winning on the road, but their showdowns were not without controversy. In their first meeting, Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins combined for 57 during a four-point victory on Dec. 17. Three months later, the Celtics beat the Warriors by 22, but Curry suffered a foot injury in the first half and head coach Steve Kerr felt Marcus Smart injured Curry on an aggressive play. Curry was forced to sit out the rest of the regular season.

With Curry back, the Warriors have played the best basketball in this year’s playoffs, going 12-4 on the Money Line and 9-7 ATS overall, while being a perfect 9-0 at home.

The Celtics are 12-6 on the Money Line and ATS overall in this year’s playoffs, as well as an impressive 7-2 on the road. However, Boston is only 5-4 at home during the playoffs.

One other interesting trend to watch in this series is that the Warriors are 11-3 on the Money Line and 8-6 ATS as favorites this postseason, while the Celtics are thriving as Underdogs these playoffs with a record of 5-2 on the Money Line and 6-1 ATS.

The Celtics and Warriors are evenly matched with a Big 3 of playmakers and solid contributors coming off the bench. Golden State may have a health advantage, but Boston will not use that as an excuse.

The Celtics will rely on their dominant defense and ability to win tough games on the road, while the Warriors will look to turn it up on offense and control the glass. However, the Celtics will be the toughest rebounding team the Warriors have face in these playoffs.

Overall, this series will come down to coaching. Celtics head coach Ime Udoka has been brilliant in his first season as a head coach. He deserves a lot of credit for turning the Celtics’ season around and leading them to the Finals. However, I’m concerned with the Celtics’ inability to play well on their home court. For Golden State, Steve Kerr has done an elite coaching job this postseason and he’s the reason I expect there to be another championship parade in the Bay Area as the Warriors cement their dynasty by winning a seven-game series vs. the Celtics.

Edge: Warriors -150