The 2022 NBA Finals is a compelling duel. It’s superior shooting against a generational defense, an established superstar (Stephen Curry) versus an up-and-coming (Jayson Tatum), and a series that frankly could be decided by who commits the fewest turnovers. sports illustrated asked two assistant coaches, one from the Eastern Conference and one from the West, to comment on the encounter.
Sports Illustrated: What’s the most dangerous thing about Boston?
east trainer: Defensive is the greatest. Her length and ability to basically switch across the board is incredible. They take the three out of the game, kinda jump on guys. Especially with Robert Williams in there, they seem confident that god forbid they get beaten, they will have protection on the edge. You’re only really defensive for a man. Whether it [Marcus] Smart, obviously Tatum has shown he can play both sides of the ball, and then [Jaylen] Brown, but then [Derrick] White from the bank. They’re after you with everyone.
You can play small balls without getting small sometimes. I think they’ve been one of the more well-rounded defensive teams for the new playstyle in years. You know what I mean? When Smart is your point guard, many teams have people to hide. There really is no one to hide.
SI: What about Golden State?
west trainer: The offense begins with the transition offense. It’s the three-point line. And the thing about their transition is how many turnovers are they forcing? So these two go hand-in-hand because they benefit well from sales. They shoot threesomes. Dallas actually did a pretty good job of covering the three-point line against them this series. The problem is that they do a pick and roll or perform a basic early attack action only to then essentially run around. And how you deal with them after that first action and during the rebound is really crucial.
Watch NBA Finals Online with fuboTV: Try it Free!
SI: Where are the warriors exploitable?
TOILET: Well, they’re going to throw that ball all over the gym in at least a couple of the games. If you look at these two teams defensively, both teams are likely to change quite a bit. And the team that has more success with that will probably be in good shape defensively.
The thing about Golden State where they’re exploitable, and that’s risk/reward, but they’ll give you some f—— wide open shots. I mean wide wide open. And if you look at the Dallas series, they lost a game where they were ahead at 19 and took 45 threes and made 20 of them. And they ended up losing a game they probably should have won. credit to her. But it goes where they are exploitable. If they have to play curry [Jordan] poole, [Andrew] Wiggins and [Klay] Thompson, all at once to score, that’s two bad defenders downed. A third type that is tough but not very mobile.
Scroll to Next
And now they count [Draymond] green or [Kevon] Looney to do all the work. And there they are exploitable. You have to play these four guys together to score a goal. And when they do, they cannot wake up at all. So now it’s throwing in some of that junky zone? They do box-and-one, 3-2, whatever their gimmick stuff is, but at the end of the day they just hope you miss it.
SI: What’s the strategy to beat Boston?
ground floor: They need to find a way to score offensively against their move. Whether you’re looking for slips and drives and basically relying on making shots, you need to find a way to create baskets instead of switching them. you have to attack You have to put pressure on Tatum and Brown, make them defend. Try to find other ways to slide on and off the ball to generate potential slips with their coverage and score easy twos or kickouts for threes. Then you have to hope that you can make it.
SI: What kind of jump did Jayson Tatum make this year?
ground floor: I think he’s definitely a superstar now. A guy you really have to plan your entire game plan around and decide what you’re willing to give up. You used to be able to live with your baskets as long as the other guys didn’t go nuts. But you’d be willing to live with Tatum getting his 50 because that probably meant nobody else got anything. While now he just keeps coming, and the guys they have around him, it’s crazy. But I mean there was a point in that year that I remember seeing it [Kevin] Durant lives and says: This guy is a freak. Then we played Boston and that was before they had that streak and I liked Tatum but it wasn’t even close. I still think Durant is probably the more elite of the two, but he’s made huge strides. He’s right there with him.
SI: How does this series play out?
TOILET: I’m leaning toward the Golden State, but I’m looking at three key areas statistically. One of them is sales. Both teams when they win they force them and don’t turn it around. When both teams lose, they struggle to take care of the basketball. The second is the three-point fight or the three-point line or whatever. Basically, when both teams win, they shoot more and make more three-pointers. And then the third thing is rebounds. Specifically, the Warriors’ offensive rebounds and the Celtics’ defensive rebounds because when the Warriors win, they get more offensive rebounds. When the Celtics lose, they give up more. And then the other caveat is, between the two teams now Golden State could rotate a little less if they try to keep Curry or Poole away from Tatum. But in general, no matter which team is running their switch defense, this series will likely be the better defensive team.
ground floor: I think Boston is the deeper team and a little more rounded from top to bottom in terms of both goals and defenders. I think Golden State’s elite shotmaking skills, obviously with Steph and then everyone else, Klay and even Wiggins at this point, gives them a chance to really still be dominant against a great defense because they just take shots on top . They have proven they have team form and are battle hardened. Something that could most likely rock Boston won’t give them as much adversity. I still won the Golden State. I know a lot of people think Boston will just trump them in defense and shooting ability. Now I also see a health issue for Boston. They’ve proven to be a little more beefed up, while Golden State has proven to be a little healthier. Maybe this downtime will let Boston heal its wounds and all that stuff. So maybe they’re a lot healthier this week. But I still give the advantage to the warriors.
More NBA Coverage: