Steph Curry leads the Golden State Warriors against the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, a matchup pitting one of the league’s most popular teams against one of its most iconic franchises.

It’s up to the Warriors to save the NBA playoffs, which began with so much promise but quickly faded after a slew of one-sided games.

The league couldn’t have asked for a better Finals matchup — and it dodged a bullet when the talented, but deadly dull, Miami Heat didn’t show up in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on their home court.

Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, the trio of Warriors stars that won three titles in five Finals appearances from 2015-19, seemingly have been rejuvenated, along with the emergence of Jordan Poole and Kevon Looney and the addition of Andrew Wiggins.

Winning without Kevin Durant, who hopped on the championship bus and earned Finals MVP honors in two of the Warriors’ three titles, would be particularly sweet for the threesome, not to mention Andre Iguodala and coach Steve Kerr.

Iguodala returned to Golden State on a veteran minimum deal last offseason, while Kerr seldom is mentioned alongside NBA coaching greats in spite of his three rings as Warriors coach. Perhaps the fourth time will be the charm?

Like their last five Finals appearances in the 2010s, the Warriors face a player in Jayson Tatum who can take over a game. The Celtics guard has evolved into a quiet superstar on a team that looked dysfunctional in November, only to dominate in the second half of the season.

Golden State had to get past LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard in their five-year Finals run, going 3-1 against James and the Cleveland Cavaliers while losing to Leonard and the Toronto Raptors in 2019.

Experts have been divided with their 2022 picks, which can only mean the series is a tossup that should go six or seven games. Or a sweep.

For what it’s worth, Las Vegas has made the Warriors the slight favorite.

But with two evenly-matched teams, it’s anyone’s guess. Both endured playoff losses in which they were toast shortly after the national anthem and won games blowing out their opponents in the first quarter.

The lack of down-to-the-wire games, along with the nonstop video reviews of out-of-bounds calls, has made watching the 2022 playoffs an exercise in futility. But all the NBA needs to redeem itself is …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

      

Column: Golden State Warriors’ reboot in the NBA Finals should be must-see TV

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