Golden State’s victory over Boston that rebalanced the Finals at 1-1 was a reminder that attacks sell tickets, but defenses win the titles
The ransom served. Golden State takes the lead in game-2 of the Finals, dominated 107-88 with a sumptuous recovery to equalize the series 1-1 against the Celtics. Here is everything that the second game said, waiting for the third one scheduled in Boston at 3 am on the Italian night between Wednesday and Thursday.
Steph Curry finished with 29 points, adding another 9 created by his 4 assists. But his impact on the Golden State victory is much deeper. Steph was the MVP of race-2 because he was able to manage the team, taking it by the hand in the difficulties of the second quarter and pulling it out of trouble, alternating frightening triple with an extraordinary management of the attack. It is with the defense, however, that the 34-year-old made the most important contribution of him. “We’ve been saying all year that Steph defensively is a lot better than people say – now he’s proven it,” said Draymond Green. Difficult to blame him.
As super as Curry was on offense, Golden State won Game-2 on defense. Boston held 37.5% from the field, with just 38 points overall in the second half, only 3 players in double figures and 6 points overall by the owners with a surname other than Tatum or Brown. The Warriors defense forced the Celtics to 19 turnovers, turned into 33 points. If Boston was the best defense of the 2021-22 regular season, Golden State was number 2: it is also a reason that defenses, not attacks, will likely decide who wins the title.
Golden State has a problem: Klay Thompson has not yet entered the series. In race-2 he not only failed to bite in attack (11 points with 4/19 shooting), but he also showed how much this version of his return after two and a half years of stoppage has limits in defense. More than acceptable, considering what he has been through since the last time he played the Finals in 2019, but still a problem in the overall management of the Warriors. Thompson had been able to make himself useful with his offensive game, apparently immune to the long stop, but with Boston it is not working. Nobody at the Warriors cares about Klay – he’s the first to know he needs him more.
The Celtics return home at 1-1, and a priori, perhaps without admitting it, it is a result that they would have subscribed to. “We are never satisfied,” said Jaylen Brown. Despite the defeat in Game-2, a lesson to be memorized quickly, snatching a match in San Francisco is a perfect way to start the Finals. Boston has the next two at home: it will be there, with the warmth of their fans waiting for 12 years to see a game worthy of the title, that Udoka’s team must build their own path to success.
Even if he did not play a masterpiece game, despite his 28 points, Tatum continues to touch up franchise records that put him on the path of phenomena. JT is the 4th ever in the Celtics jersey to break through the wall of 500 points in a playoff ride: before him Larry Bird, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce had succeeded. Tatum, at 24, is the youngest to do so: another record taken from Larry Legend. If anyone has any doubts, he is the one who has to lead Boston to the title …
June 6, 2022 (change June 6, 2022 | 1:00 pm)
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