Golden State's journey back to the Finals
At the end of the 2019-2020 season the Golden State Warriors had the league's worst record after suffering many injuries and inconsistent play. The Warriors had failed to make their fifth straight consecutive Finals appearance and failed to make the playoffs again the following season battled by injuries once more. People started seeing this as a decline, and the Warriors were being written off by everyone but themselves, fueling the fire as underdogs. Golden State came roaring back with a dominant season earning them the 3rd seed, and included the return of Klay Thompson who had missed 941 consecutive days of basketball.
With Thompson getting back in rhythm and Golden State playing the way they do best, they bounced back to back MVP Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets in five games in the first round.
Golden State got their revenge defeating Memphis in six games in a very intense matchup that we will watch for years to come. In the WCF they faced an overwhelmed Dallas Mavericks who couldn’t slow down the Warriors, and ultimately lost in five.
Golden State beat all odds punching their ticket to the NBA Finals in a dominant fashion securing the Western Conference Finals. Curry and his team knew that it wasn’t over and that they had more work to do before any celebrations.
Boston Celtics road to The Finals
Boston went into the season as one of the projected teams to win the NBA Finals, the bar was set high for the 2021-2022 season. Being one of the most historic franchises in all of sports the team knew there were expectations to be met.
50 games into the regular season and Boston had some big questions to answer. They were sitting at a record of 25-25 and completely underwhelmed their expectations so far. There started to be potential talks of breaking up their promising young core of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Boston trusted their young core and ignored the noise, deciding to trust their players and stick with the same squad.
Boston wanted to compete and they put the league on notice when they became red hot to finish the season. Boston finished 26-6, to end the season showing opponents their true potential. They played so well they secured the 2 seed for the playoffs.
The Celtics were set to face the Brooklyn Nets, a team many had predicted at the start of the season to win the NBA Finals as well. The Celtics fought hard and shocked everyone when they went on to sweep the Nets, which was truly embarrassing for Brooklyn.
Boston had an even greater challenge waiting, the Milwaukee Bucks. Boston fought through adversity and defeated the defending champs in game 7. Boston wanted respect and they were certainly getting it.
It was not over yet though, as they would have to face the Miami Heat in the ECF. The series went on to be a classic duel leading to seven games, and Boston proved they were the better team winning another seven game series.
Boston was going back to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.
Golden State vs. Boston Celtics
The series started in Golden State and stealing a game on the road was going to be tough for either team with their passionate fan bases. Boston proved that wrong immediately and rallied in the fourth quarter to shrink Golden State's lead and actually finished with a dominant win to steal game 1.
Golden State was more careful in game 2 though. They were not going to make the same mistake again and tied the series at a game each, putting together a much more dominant performance. Both teams knew this wasn’t going to be an easy series.
Game 3 in the TD Garden, a difficult place to play for any away team; Boston was known for their die hard fans. The home court advantage proved to help as the Celtics won in fashion by 16. Boston up a game and favored in the series looked like they were about to run away and win The Finals.
Steph Curry and his team had much more experience than Tatum and the Celtics, and that proved to be one of the most important factors. The Celtics were playing sloppy, turning the ball over and started to beat themselves. Golden State capitalized and stole game 4 on the road to give them momentum before facing The C’s at home. The series was tied at 2-2.
Golden State kept playing their brand of basketball and made the Celtics pay for their sloppy play. Boston had lost momentum and started to slip behind. Golden State had clearly broken Boston after going up 3-2; Boston fought but Golden State seemed comfortable and wouldn't let them back in the game.
Golden State did not care where they were playing; they knew that the season was ending in Boston tonight. They dominated and Steph Curry put up a monster performance of 43 points, and their defense shined. They dismantled Boston, holding them to low shooting percentages and forcing them to turn the ball over 22 times. Golden State was back in the promise-land that they had fought so hard for, and were once again champions of the world.