When the Boston Celtics are in the NBA Finals, they rarely lose. And it is practically impossible to close the final in Boston.
The Celtics are 17-4 when they advance to the Finals. It’s quite impressive. What’s more impressive is that the 1985 Los Angeles Lakers are the only visiting team to win the title on home soil from the Celtics.
Steve Kerr thinks you can add the Golden State Warriors to that list.
After beating the Celtics in Game 5 in San Francisco to take a 3-2 series lead, the Warriors coach told his team in the postgame locker room, “We’re going to have that in Boston. . We’re going to finish this in Boston.”
The so-called scoreboard hardware may not be relevant in the Finals, but it raised some eyebrows around NBA pundits. How will the Celtics react?
USA TODAY Sports will have live updates and analysis all evening as Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals begins.
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Warriors continue 21-0 run, longest in NBA Finals in 50 years
A series of unruly fouls and turnovers sent the Warriors on a torrid run late in the first quarter and into the second.
The Warriors scored 10 points in the first 1:47 of the second quarter, cementing a dominating 21-0 run for Golden State.
After starting the game just 4 of 12 shots, the Warriors hit nine of their next 13 shots to force Celtics head coach Ime Udoka to burn a pair of timeouts early in the second quarter.
Boston retaliated by going on its own 7-0 run to cut the Warriors’ lead to eight, 37-29.
Celtics strike first; Warriors fight back harder to end first quarter
The Celtics came out with a sense of urgency. They took a 14-2 lead, but Golden State withstood Boston’s opening punch and went on an 11-point streak to close out the first quarter. The Warriors lead 27-22.
Steph Curry was held scoreless until 4:30 left in the quarter, but he hit his first 3-poof of the game after a Game 5 crash. Curry has 5 points, in addition to Klay Thompson and Draymond Green , who knocked down his first three of the entire NBA Finals. (He was 0 for 12 beyond the arch until this shot).
Jayson Tatum has a habit of starting this streak slow, but that wasn’t the case in Game 6. He and Brown lead the Celtics with 7 points apiece, but the Celtics’ offense stalled again near the end quarter.
Both teams struggle with turnovers and fouls early on. The Celtics scored 7 points on 4 Warriors turnovers, while the Warriors converted 4 Celtics turnovers to 2 points. Thompson and Marcus Smart both have 2 fouls.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown cook early for the Celtics
The Boston Celtics are out on a mission. They started the game on a 12-2 streak, thanks to better starts from stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, who share eight of those points.
Brown knocked down a 3 to put the Celtics up 9-2. The next possession, Tatum followed suit and knocked down his first shot from beyond the arc to extend the Celtics’ lead to 12-2. Warriors coach Steve Kerr called a time out soon after. Boston is shooting 66.7 percent (4 for 6) from the field and 2 for 2 from 3 points.
The Celtics converted two Warriors turnovers to five points.
Should the Finals MVP be changed to “Most Outstanding Player”?
If the Golden State Warriors win Game 6 or Game 7 — maybe even if they lose too — Steph Curry is practically a lock on being named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.
It will happen mostly because he deserves it, despite playing mediocre by his standards in Game 5. It will also be a turnaround move for Curry, who probably should have won Finals MVP in 2015 instead of winning. ‘Andre Igoudala, who earned the award after scoring 25 points in the closing game and getting plenty of credit for his defense against LeBron James. Reasonable minds may disagree on this subject.
But one thing that would help bring some historical clarity and consistency to the voting process would be to get rid of the naming of the most *valuable* players and change it to the most *outstanding* player in the series.
The value of a single player in a basketball game, or in any team sport, is often difficult to assess and highly debatable. Identifying the best player in a series is much easier and more appropriate.
The word “precious” is an incentive for voters to think about it too much. For example, it’s pretty obvious that Curry was the best player in the series. It’s not particularly close, and it would be true whether the Warriors win or lose. But it’s also fair to say the Warriors would be able to close this out without Andrew Wiggins, who played an immense role on both ends of the court and took over offensively with 26 points in Game 5 when Curry left. 0 for 9 from the 3 point line.
In other words, the Warriors won the most crucial game of the series so far because Wiggins was the most important player. Based on the criteria of the precious word, it wouldn’t be odd to give Wiggins a vote at this point.
Should Steph Curry win Finals MVP, whichever team wins?
If the Warriors were down 3-2 and Boston had the chance to close things out tonight, we’d potentially be debating whether Steph Curry could win MVP if his team didn’t win. It’s not hard to find examples where the most valuable player in a series could be on the losing team, but it would be very controversial to give that person the MVP award because the mere existence of that award suggests that it should go to someone on the winner. crew.
How about just calling it the Most Outstanding Player award, in which case we’d all have a more cohesive understanding of how it should be voted on? Identifying the best player – winning or losing – is a pretty valid idea.
The Celtics haven’t lost three straight since December; ‘will retreat’
Even back to the wall, it’s business as usual for the Celtics.
When asked before the game whether the mood in the locker room was angry or nervous, Celtics coach Ime Udoka didn’t flinch. His guys have been in this position before.
The Celtics’ Game 5 loss on Monday was the first time they’ve lost back-to-back playoff games. They haven’t lost three consecutive games since December 25-29, 2021.
Boston has been a changed unit since then. The Celtics were 16-19 after that Dec. 29 loss but found their stride in the new year to finish the regular season 51-31, eliminating the Nets, Bucks and Heat, respectively. in the playoffs. The Celtics also trailed 3-2 in their series against the Bucks.
Udoka said the early season adversity gave the Celtics a “rebound ability” that helped them stay focused on the details instead of getting caught up in the big picture.
“We have short memories and it worked well for us and put it behind us,” Udoka said. “And also being in those situations throughout the year where we had to fight back after a big hole at the start of the season, all those things bode well for us.”
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Steph Curry’s golfing friends could attend game six
Steph Curry has many friends on the professional golf circuit. Many of them will play at the US Open in Brookline, Massachusetts – about 40 minutes from TD Garden, where Curry is trying to play the Celtics in Game 6.
Curry did not attend any of the first rounds of the US Open, which started on Thursday. But Curry, who saw the US Open Championship trophy up close on Wednesday, expected to hear from some of his golfing buddies.
“I have a few friends on the tour who will probably contact me by next week if they get the early start time, early/late Thursday. We will see. Or Thursday/Friday, we’ll see,” he said earlier this week. “I’m not going there. Obviously, all my focus is on rest and recovery, preparation. I’m going to hang out in front of the TV and make sure I watch as much as I can.