Celtics

2022 NBA Finals predictions: ESPN's BPI model has Celtics as huge favorites

Celtics

Most experts are picking the Golden State Warriors to beat the Boston Celtics in the 2022 NBA Finals. Oddsmakers like the Warriors' chances, too.

It makes sense, given the Warriors' talent level and championship experience.

The analytics say something different, though.

2022 NBA Finals preview: Three reasons why Celtics can beat Warriors

FiveThirtyEight's predictive model gives the Celtics an 80 percent chance to win the series. It's a staggering number, but not as lopsided as ESPN's Basketball Power Index, which gives the C's an 86 percent chance of beating the Warriors.

There's absolutely a path for the Celtics to win the Finals.

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They have the best defense in the league, better depth than the Warriors, a top 10 player in Jayson Tatum, a top 20 player in Jaylen Brown, and a very good head coach in Ime Udoka.

Even though Boston lacks the NBA Finals experience that Golden State's core has, many of the players on the Celtics' roster have lots of big-game playoff experience. Marcus Smart and Brown have been in the conference finals four times. Tatum has played in three. The Celtics have played in six Game 7s since the start of the 2017 playoffs. 

 

Sure, the NBA Finals is a different stage and the pressure is higher. But the Celtics will be ready for this challenge, and they definitely won't be afraid of the Warriors. After all, they've won four of their last five games versus the Warriors.