The NBA Finals game like no other

I’ve been writing about the NBA playoffs for a long time. In my pre-rocker days, I wrote what I called a fake blog – because it was just an email I sent to the guys I played ball with. In one of these fake blogs, I wrote about the upcoming 2013 Western Conference Finals match between OKC and Tottenham, comparing the Thunder’s sixth young man to the not-so-young San Antonio sixth man:

OKC’s outstanding youngster is James Harden – and his game is a spitting image of Manu Ginobili’s two legs. Both players are left-handed, attack the edge with abandon, and comfortably fall back to shoot all three, and they are such good lanes that they often play a point guard when the team’s All-Star goalkeeper is out of play.

Harden was no longer young, and Manu retired. Unlike Manu, who never gained a pound, Harden gained several pounds. You know the expression – “two bills” weighs. Nowadays, Harden probably weighs “Two Manos”.

All by saying that I’ve been writing about the NBA playoffs long enough that I remember when Harden’s current off-the-ball, heavy-hitting version could be compared to My Man Manu out of prank. In all that time, I’ve never watched an NBA playoff like Game 1 between the Celtics and Warriors. For three quarters, she alternated between a comfortable victory for the Warriors and a close match that veteran Warriors would eventually take out on the field. At the end of the third quarter it looked more like the first, with the Warriors led by 12. Not only that, they were home, resting better, had no trouble or injured, and were filling up the Celtics better. Player: Jason Tatum.

On the other bench I’m sure Celtic coach im Odoka was saying things like “one bucket at a time, we can’t make it all at once” – if he did, that would probably be the only incorrect thing he said throughout the night . In fact, no one could have predicted what happened next. The Celtics made it all at once by sinking their next seven (7!) three-pointers, holding the Warriors at 103 and continuing to pour it. The match effectively ended more than four minutes before the end of the match.

In the fourth quarter, the Celtics fired 15-for-22 (68.2%) from the field, including 9-for-12 in triples. Five Celtics made triples, with Al Horford, Jaylene Brown, Derek White and Marcus Smart making two each. Six of the fourth-quarter three-pointers came during Three minutes stretch They scored twenty (20!) points on seven possessions, turning a five-point deficit with 7:54 remaining into a six-point lead with 4:49 to go.

People often forget the other end of the floor when a team is running. When a team beats the opponent 17-0 as the Celtics did, that means they are closing in on the team on the other end. Perhaps most impressive of the Celtics’ 40 points in fourth, they kept their full-strength Warriors line-up at just 16 points, all of which led to the largest fourth-quarter margin (24 points) in NBA Finals history. And that history goes back much further than I was writing about the NBA playoffs.

Other ideas:

  • Spurs Derek White, my uninjured favorite, threw an upcoming party for the national audience. the University. The Colorado Buffalo alum scored 21 points, 5 of 8 on three, played his usual stellar defense, and led all players with an additional 25 points while on the ground. Derek was so great that national publications like The Athletic dedicated entire articles to him, like this one, which ended with this quote from Jaylen Brown:

“Some people are momentarily awake, have the ability to outgrow the Scout Report, and can just ring the reins,” Brown said. Credit to D-White, man. He can ball.

  • These playoffs were all about teams looking for favorable encounters when attacking, targeting the other team’s weaker defenders. The Celtics don’t play any below average defenders, so they don’t have anyone to target. Warriors do.
  • On the other hand, the Warriors have several players who don’t threaten to sign up for attack, including two of their key players, Draymond Green and Kevin Looney. However, that doesn’t mean the defense can hold back on these guys when they have the ball. If the defense plays away from Green or Looney, they simply set a screen for the shooter (usually Steph Curry) who then curls up from the screen wide open to spray three. After Curry’s impressive first quarter (six triples, 21 points), the Celtics’ defenders on Green and Looney stopped laying off, which in turn resulted in far fewer open looks for the Warriors shooters. As a result, Curry made one pointer more than three for the rest of the game.
  • In my pre-qualifier article, I highlighted Looney’s offensive rebound against the MAF, and predicted he wouldn’t get the same number against Celtic’s bigger and more talented defenders. At least for Game One, I was wrong. Looney had six attacking planks, and each one led to the Warriors Basket. In fact, all but one led to an instant hit, primarily on a pass to a Warriors shooter who then exhausted the shot. On those that didn’t lead directly to the Warriors’ basket, Looney earned a second offensive plate on the missed shot, then scored himself. noticeable.
  • I really missed Jeff Van Gundy in this match because his absence made Mark Jackson speechless. Near the end of the third quarter, Jackson said, “If you tell me Andrew Wiggins beats Jason Tatum, I’ll tell you the Celtics don’t stand a chance. It doesn’t mean they can’t win.” So what does this mean, Mark? [Editor’s Note: It must mean that a team without a chance can win! – JRW]

On behalf of all of us who will be watching Game Two on Sunday, I hope Van Gundy recovers quickly.

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