- Date & Location: Thursday, June 2 at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif.
- Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
- How to Watch: ABC
The 2022 NBA Championship Finals begin on Thursday, June 2. The Golden State Warriors represent the Western Conference, while the Boston Celtics are the Eastern Conference delegates. It’s been a long while since these two clubs faced off in the NBA Finals. So long ago that the Golden State Warriors were the San Francisco Warriors. The teams met at the end of the 1963-64 season. As far as star power, the Warriors had Wilt Chamberlain and the Celtics featured Bill Russell. The Celtics won that series. It was their sixth straight NBA championship title.
Boston earned their way to the 2022 NBA Finals with a four-game sweep of the Brooklyn Nets in the opening round of the playoffs. The team then bested the defending NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks in seven games before topping the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat, in seven games during the Eastern Conference Finals.
Golden State made their way to the 2022 NBA Championship Finals series with wins over the Denver Nuggets (4-1), the Memphis Grizzlies (4-2) and the Dallas Mavericks (4-1). The Warriors have been resting since they wrapped up the Western Conference Finals on May 26 at home.
This year marks the Warriors’ first trip to the Finals since they lost to the Toronto Raptors in 2019. The Celtics ended a drought of 12 years. The last time Boston made it to the Finals was 2010 when they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers.
2022 NBA Finals Game 1 picks
Boston Celtics breakdown and analysis
It’s been more than a decade since the Celtics last made the NBA Finals and although the Boston players are saying the right things heading into their series against the Golden State Warriors, the reality is that the Celtics of 2022 don’t know what it’s like to play in the NBA Finals. The Warriors do. That’s something that needs to be considered in — at least — Game 1 of this series.
No player on the Celtics roster has ever played in an NBA Finals game. The Warriors have 123 games of Finals experience.
Of the players remaining in the NBA playoffs, no one has scored more points per game than the Celtics’ Jayson Tatum. Tatum is averaging 27 points per game to go with 6.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists. Jaylen Brown is also contributing more than 20 points per game for the Celtics (22.9) and adding 6.8 rebounds. Outside of those two, Marcus Smart is going to be expected to play a big role on both offense and defense for the Celtics. Smart played well in the Heat series. During that seven-game stretch, he averaged 16.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game.
Golden State Warriors breakdown and analysis
The big three of the Golden State Warriors, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Steph Curry rank sixth, eighth and 10th among active NBA players in total playoff minutes. It’s that experience and their five championships that make them the favorite to win not only Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals, but the 2022 NBA title.
When Thompson, Green and Curry are on the court together in the 2022 postseason, they have outscored their opponents by 61 points. Curry leads the team in scoring with 25.9 points per game and Thompson is second with 19.8. Green, who leads the team in assists (6.3) and blocks (1.1) is putting up 8.7 points per game.
With all the rest the Warriors have had since they downed the Mavericks, Game 1 of the Finals is going to be the freshest this veteran team looks in the Finals. They will want to take advantage of that rest, their experience and home court advantage in Game 1 of their series against the Boston Celtics.
Experience matters and with that in mind, the Golden State Warriors, who are also rested, will win Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Championship Finals.
Pick: Golden State Warriors to win Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals over the Boston Celtics.
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