NBA Finals: Can the Warriors end the streak in Game 6 on the road?
On the spot: The Warriors are one win away from taking home the Larry O’Brien trophy. But they have an uphill battle in Boston against Tatum and the Celtics.
When the Boston Celtics reach the NBA Finals, they rarely lose. And to complete the final in Boston is almost impossible.
The Celtics are 17-4 when they reach the Finals. It’s pretty impressive. What’s more impressive is that the 1985 Los Angeles Lakers are the only visiting team to win a title on the Celtics’ home court.
Steve Kerr thinks the Golden State Warriors could be added to that list.
After they beat the Celtics in Game 5 in San Francisco to take a 3-2 series lead, the Warriors coach told his team in the locker room after the game, “We’ll get it in Boston. it’s in Boston.”
The so-called bulletin board material may not be appropriate for the Finals, but it has left NBA pundits bewildered. How will the Celtics respond?
USA TODAY Sports will receive live updates and analysis throughout the evening as Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals kicks off.
HOW TO WATCH GAME 6: Live broadcast, TV channel, start time, X-factors
If the Golden State Warriors win Game 6 or 7—perhaps even if they lose—Stef Curry will be practically the MVP of the NBA Finals.
This will happen mainly because he deserves it, despite a poor performance by his standards in Game 5. It would also be a good gesture for Curry, who should have probably been the Finals MVP in 2015 instead of Andre Iguudala, who received the award after how he scored 25 points in the final game and got a lot of credit for his defense against LeBron James. Sane people may disagree with this.
But one thing that will help bring some historical clarity and consistency to the voting process is to get rid of the nomenclature of the most *valuable* players and change it to the most *outstanding* player in the series.
The value of a single player in basketball, or in any team sport, is often difficult to assess and highly controversial. Determining the best player in the series is much easier and more correct.
The word “valuable” is an incentive for voters to think about it. For example, it is clear that Curry was the best player in the series. It’s not particularly close, and that would be true whether the Warriors won or lost. But it’s also fair to say that the Warriors would have been able to close the deal if it wasn’t for Andrew Wiggins, who played a huge role on both sides of the floor and made up for a slack offense with 26 points in Game 5 when Curry left. 0 out of 9 from the three-point line.
In other words, the Warriors won the most pivotal game of the series because Wiggins was the most important player. Based on the criteria for the word “valuable”, it would be quite ludicrous to give Wiggins a say at this stage.
— Dan Volken
Should Steph Curry be the Finals MVP no matter which team wins?
If the Warriors were down 3-2 and Boston had the opportunity to close the scoring tonight, we could potentially discuss whether Steph Curry could be MVP if his team didn’t win. It’s not hard to find instances where the most valuable player of a series can be on the losing team, but it would be highly controversial to give that person the MVP award, because the very existence of that award suggests that it should go to one of the winners. team.
How about just calling it the Most Outstanding Player Award, in which case we all have a more consistent understanding of how it should be voted for? Determining the best player – win or lose – is a decent enough idea.
— Dan Volken
Even with your back against the wall, it’s business as usual for the Celtics.
When asked before the game if 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’ loss in Game 5 on Monday marked the first time they have lost consecutive games this postseason. They were unbeaten for three games in a row from December 25 to 29, 2021.
Boston has changed since then. After losing on December 29, the Celtics led 16–19, but found success in the new year and finished the regular season 51–31, beating the Nets, Bucks, and Heat, respectively, in the playoffs. The Celtics also went down 3–2 in the series against the Bucks.
Udoka said the early season adversity gave the Celtics “the ability to bounce back” that helped them focus on the details rather than obsessing over the big picture.
“We have a short memory and it worked out well for us and put it behind us,” Udoka said. “And also the fact that during the year we found ourselves in situations where we had to fight back after a big hole at the beginning of the season, all this boded well for us.”
— Richard Morin
Steph Curry is looking to bounce back from his shooting slump in Game 5 as he scored 16 points, his lowest ever finish in the NBA Finals. But that’s exactly the position Steve Kerr and Draymond Green want Curry to see as the Warriors look to shut out the Celtics on the road in Game 6 on Thursday.
“He was 0 out of 9 out of 3. He’s going to be furious going into Game 6,” Green said on Monday. “That’s exactly what we need.”
Curry hit 7-of-22 from the field and shocked 0-of-9 from 3-point range, ending a streak of 233 postseason and regular season games in which he hit a 3-pointer.
“Even for the best shooter in the world, games like this happen,” Kerr said on Monday. “And fortunately, they don’t happen too often. I love it when Steph gets out of that game. I like his ability to recover.”
Klay Thompson said the Warriors would never have to worry about Curry: “I just know what he’s going to say. He is one of the greatest competitors I have ever worked with. the shots he missed. And that’s a good thing, because on Thursday, hopefully, most of the time he’s back to average, and it’s scary when he does.”
— Sidney Henderson
Jason Tatum is the biggest X factor in Celtics Game 6
Jason Tatum has been a rocky show so far, delivering moments of sheer brilliance and, at critical moments, playing the part of a vanishing actor.
In the fourth quarter of Game 5, Tatum scored just five points on 1-of-5 shooting in addition to a critical loss. He also missed two free throws that could cut the Warriors’ lead to eight with five minutes left.
Celtics coach Ime Udoka said the Celtics needed Tatum to “be aggressive and read right” throughout the game. It starts with Tatum starting better and finishing strong. Tiredness could be a factor, but Tatum will have to put up a consistent game if the Celtics are going to have a Game 7.
Much has been made of the Warriors’ trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves for Andrew Wiggins at the 2020 trade deadline.
The Warriors acquired Wiggins and a 2021 first-round pick for D’Angelo Russell, Jacob Evans III and Omari Spellman.
Earlier this season, Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob said it was “one of the biggest deals, maybe the best deal we’ve ever done.” He got a lot of consent. And the deal looks better every day.
Offered stability for the first time in his career, Wiggins, who has played under four head coaches in Minnesota is thriving to the point that he could win multiple Finals MVP votes if he has one more monster game to carry the Warriors.
“When he (Wiggins) first came here, and I’ll never forget, it was when Tiebs wasn’t with the Knicks and Tiebs said, ‘You’re going to love him. He competes. He is defending himself.” Draymond Green said after the fifth game, “And he told us that Jimmy loved him. And we all know what Jimmy Butler is. If you have any softness in you, Jimmy doesn’t like you.
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Steph Curry has many professional golfing friends. Many of them will be playing the US Open in Brooklyn, 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 early rounds of the US Open, which started on Thursday. But Curry, who was closely watching the US Open trophy on Wednesday, was expecting to hear from one of his golfing buddies.
“There are a couple of friends on tour who will probably contact me between today and next week if they have an early time, early/late Thursday. Let’s see. Or Thursday/Friday, we’ll see,” he said earlier this week. “I won’t go there. Obviously, all my attention is focused on rest and recovery, on preparation. However, I will stand in front of the TV and try to watch it as much as possible.”