Boston and Golden State start the NBA Finals on Thursday night and while it’s not our place to tell you who to bet on - we’d tell you it’s a bad idea frankly - but if we did, we would tell you to bet it all on the Celtics.
Because Skip Bayless, who gets most everything wrong, said this: “Klay Thompson will be better than [former Duke star] Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in the NBA Finals.”
If someone else had said it, we’d say well, you could be right. But Bayless? His track record for being wrong is so awesome that you have an excellent chance of getting it right just by betting against him.
He is correct that Golden State is favored but a more subtle mind would have thought about this: what about Marcus Smart?
A superb defender, Smart is capable of taking anyone out of the game. At a minimum, he can slow Thompson down a bit. Thompson is averaging 19.8 ppg in the playoffs. If Smart could supress that just a bit, it could be a huge factor.
That’s assuming that he doesn’t guard Steph Curry. Either way, if Smart can take a bit off of Golden State’s bottom line, it’ll really help Boston.
But think about the other Golden State starters: Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green.
The Celtics, a very good defensive team, have a chance to really limit those three.
People like Bayless focus on the offense and the Splash Brothers are spectacular. But defense is really key the deeper you get in the playoffs. For all the talk about Golden State’s offense, people rarely discuss their defense. It’s not bad, particularly in the case of Green, but it’s not as good as Boston’s is.
- NBA Finals 2022: Ranking all 30 players in Celtics-Warriors; Stephen Curry, Jayson Tatum tough call at No. 1
- Celtics’ defense set to challenge Warriors’ offense in Game 1
- Jayson Tatum gets honest about his leadership capabilities before making to the Finals
- Jayson Tatum: There have been times where I questioned if I’m the right person to lead the team
- “Jabari Parker is better than Andrew Wiggins”: How Jayson Tatum’s wild claim in 2017 may come back to bite him
- Jayson Tatum questioned himself as a leader after tough losses
- Jayson Tatum questioned himself during Celtics’ hard times, but ‘it can’t rain forever’ as Boston is in NBA Finals
- ‘I will always have faith in this group’: Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown discussed early-season rumors at Finals media day