The NBA continues to reward size and speed at big moments, despite all the emphasis on skill and smallball in recent seasons. The first Finals game at TD Garden since 2010 was theTo bury the body, they used their speed, physical superiority and length In 116-100 to get a lead in the 2-1 series.
The Celtics' championship aspirations are built on the strength and explosiveness of their top-flight defense.And Their talented pair of attackers. Their wing tandem and defense saw mixed results in San Francisco. In San Francisco, the Celtics split their first two games. The defense proved its versatility Wednesday while Tatum and Brown put on mature, intense performances that took control of the game in halftime.
Brown has generated many of his opportunities over his six NBA seasons by relying on the flow, rather than set play calls. Brown was an initiator in Wednesday's half-court Celtics game. Brown attacked relentlessly, using assertive drives to get to the basket in spite of the Warriors' limited rim defense. He was quick to move the ball when he came across help defenders. Brown also took advantage of opportunities to see beyond the arc as the Warriors' defensive rotations allowed. Brown finished the game with 27 points. He made 9 of 16 field goals, including 4-for-8 from beyond arc and 5-for-6 at the stripe.
Tatum scored 20 points per game, shooting less than 30% from field in the first two contests. However, he was a great playmaker and had 26 points overall, shooting 9-for-23. Ime Udoka, Celtics coach, attributed Tatum's difficulties to his natural tendency to score fouls. Tatum scored nine assists and had only one turnover on Wednesday. His success was largely due in part to reading the Warriors' defense, finding teammates quickly, and using smart cross-court passes, kickouts, and smart cross-court passes.
Despite all the advantages they had inside, the Celtics limited their efforts to shooting from the rim and relegated themselves to the perimeter and midrange in Game 2. Boston had tried 14 shots at the rim before halftime and Brown was the offensive leader. The Celtics' drive-and kick game was fueled by those forays into paint. Although the Celtics did not see as many 3-point attempts in San Francisco, they generated 35 shots from beyond the arc and converted 37.1%. Boston also had a 52-26 advantage in points scored in the paint.
Every exercise is as reliable as the last.After the Warriors' warmup, they staged their famous rally in the third quarter. The Warriors briefly took the lead after trailing by double-digits for much of the night. This was aided by a 14-3 run, which included a 7-point In 13 seconds, they had possession. Despite Curry's outbursts the Celtics fought back and built their lead. The game was in danger of being lost to the Warriors in the fourth period with just two minutes remaining. Curry was attempting to catch the ball when he fell on Curry's left leg. Curry fell to the ground and didn't return, even though the Warriors were leading by 14 points.
The Warriors, who have been eager to seeThe loss is especially bitter because of the return to form. Thompson was able to score 25 points in 17 attempts. This was one of his best postseason performances, but it was wasted. The Warriors lost the ball 17 times, and more importantly, they were defeated on their defensive glass. They also gave up 15 offensive rebounds to Boston. These two columns are what Golden State refers to as the “possession war,” which they lost decisively.
The Warriors have been emphasizing that they are a different team from the one that won three titles in five Finals appearances. That was even more evident than it was during their current title run. The Warriors team is still in the process of learning, and despite their collective basketball brilliance there is much to do.