Is a Warriors-Celtics NBA Finals Match-up In Our Future?
Few saw it coming, but it looks like Boston and Golden State are on a collision course.
It seemed improbable when Boston’s Gordon Hayward was seriously injured in the first game of the season, and then even more unlikely after Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving was lost for the year in March, but the Boston Celtics, sans their two best players, are now the odds-on favorite from the East to make it to the NBA Finals.
The Western Conference is a little bit less of a surprise as the defending champion Warriors are favored to make the finals and win it all again, the same position they have been in all season.
What that means of course is, unless the Cavaliers and Rockets can pull off upsets, we will be seeing Boston vs. Golden State in June, a match-up between two franchises that last met in the finals 54 years ago.
Of course, before that happens, the Celtics and Warriors do have to take care of business in their respective conference finals. While there seems to be little concern Golden State is up to the challenge, there are some who think Boston will struggle eliminating Cleveland.
That belief will only grow stronger if Cleveland is able to win on Saturday night on their home floor and bring their series one game closer, to 2-1 Celtics. “Doc Rivers has a playoff adage he imparts to his teams: A series doesn’t start until the road team wins,” said ESPN’s Andrew Han. “That goes doubly for a series in which LeBron is involved.”
Chris Herring of FiveThirtyEight sees things a bit differently and believes that, no matter what happens on Saturday, Boston and Golden State are on a collision course for the NBA Finals.
“We honestly haven’t seen anything firm from the Cavs yet to suggest that they’re the better team in this series,” Herring said. “I’d venture to guess that those who feel Cleveland is going to prevail are basing it on an overwhelming faith in LeBron. But Boston’s defense is seemingly too stout to place that sort of faith in him this time. It will obviously take more than just a 40-point, triple-double from James to get this done, and I don’t believe the Cavs have it in them to beat this Celtics team four times in five tries.”
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