NBA Finals 2022 – Why the Warriors & Celtics need their big men big time

BOSTON Steve Kerr He has had to make a lot high-pressure and big-stakes decision during his NBA career. Like that afternoon in 1995 He was tired of it all. Michael Jordan In a Chicago Bulls Practice and I made the decision to throw a forearm. It was a great experience and left me with a black-eyed look.

The Golden State WarriorsWith seven minutes remaining Friday in Game 4, ‘coach had another big one NBA Finals When he decided that he would pull. Draymond Green Out of the game. The Warriors fell five points to the end. Boston Celtics It is dangerous. It was as easy as Green not playing well, and the player he played for. Kevon Looney, was.

After Green was out, the Warriors went on an eleven-3 run and quickly took control of the game. Kerr then decided that Green would be playing defense in the final minutes. He even called a timeout to remove him from the game. Green was able to make several important plays in this limited role and was able to have one of his best performances as the Warriors closed out their series. 107-97 victory To even the series at 2:2.

These Finals seem like Stephen Curry's triumph against the Celtics' youth exuberance, which may manifest itself in high-volume 3-point shooting and pick-and-roll coverage. As this becomes a three game series, the title could hinge on an old-school scenario: The big men.

How Kerr handles a potentially tense situation with Green on the other side will determine how it plays out. The health of Celtics' defensive ace Robert Williams IIIHe looked as though he had suffered a knee injury in Game 4, which could prove to be pivotal in this series.

These realities are probably well-known to both Kerr and Ime Udoka, the Celtics coach. Their willingness to ignore them later in the game told the story.

Udoka stated, “I didn’t see anything with Rob”

Williams, who was now out of commission with just four minutes left to play, signaled to the bench that he wanted to be taken out. He was removed from the game and never came back. In the final three-plus minutes, the Warriors outscored Celtics by seven.

Williams is the series' best defensive player. He was playing in Game 4 and the Celtics outscored Warriors by six. The Warriors were outscored by 16 when he was not on the floor. Udoka may have known that he was unavailable down the stretch.

Williams had 12 blocks and five steals during the series. He also had 12 rebounds, which was a record for him in playoff play. The Celtics have a +20 record when he's been on the court during the four games. He was as calm and composed in Games 3-4 as he had been for weeks. He covered a lot of ground, making shots and generally making the Warriors cower.

Williams spent weeks recovering from knee surgery and a bone injury in his left knee. He receives several deep-tissue massages on his calf daily. Bags of ice, electric muscle stimulation treatment, blood-flow restriction and bags of ice by ton. The latter involves placing a band around the knee to promote healing.

It's worked. After missing seven of the Celtics first 14 playoff games, he now has eight consecutive games. However, it is unclear how severe the aggravation will be and how he will feel Monday night in San Francisco (Game 5).9 p.m. ET on ABC) in what could end up being a massive variable.

Williams stated that Williams' knee was “up and down” before Game 4. “Adrenaline Energy kind of carries” Williams said about his knee before Game 4.

There's also the situation with Green. He has been so restricted on offense in these Finals, Williams will often guard him to allow for freelancing elsewhere. He was able to score five of his nine rebounds as well as three of his eight assists during the fourth quarter despite being benched.

Kerr said it sounded like the plan was to cut Green's minutes. The power forward only played 33 games in the series. Kerr actually took Looney out the starting lineup so that he could create a rotation that would allow Looney the opportunity to play more in quarter four.

Kerr still had the call to make in the moment. It was one of his best moves in this series. It may even reach the “season-saving” level. Looney had played just six minutes in the final quarter of each of the three first games. He played close to eight minutes in Game 4's crucial fourth quarter.

Kerr said, “Like most coaches if you have a group going well, you just keep it up,” when Kerr was asked about his decision. Kerr said, “I didn't participate.” [Looney] sufficient in Game 3. It was my error. He was a vital part of the game and it was crucial that he got out there.

After going +21 in Game 4, Looney now stands at +36. Looney is the team's best rebounder. He also serves as a rim defender, while making fewer mistakes. He has gotten a lot of baskets around rim shooting 13-of-18. When attention is diverted, he takes putbacks and dumpoffs. It is a stark contrast to Green’s 6-of-26 shooting.

Green stated, “I was never happy to leave the game with seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of a must-win match,” “But, at a final point of the game, if that is what coach decides then you just go with it. “You know, I had my head in the game.”

Kerr may have to go back to the drawing board if the same scenario occurs in Games 5-6 or 7, or even 7. Looney was the Warriors' greatest big man. Looney and Green are often paired together, but Golden State can only have one offense for crunch time.

Despite having their struggles over the years, Kerr has supported Green despite his temper and his savage offense in recent years. It's a test that's being put to the ultimate test right now, and it's only going get more intense.

This Finals is a huge part for both the men on either side.

Kerr stated that Kerr doesn't want his players to be unhappy if he takes them out. “Draymond's extremely competitive. Whatever it takes in Game 5 that's what will we do.”

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